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    William Maley

    BMW Adds More Confusion With the 4-Series Gran Coupe

    Time for a logic problem: This is the 2015 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe which is like the 3-Series sedan since it has four-doors. But the 4-Series Gran Coupe features a sleeker roofline, is 0.5 inches longer and wider, and a shorter height than a 3-Series. The 4-Series Gran Coupe is also like the 3-Series GT because the two models feature a hatchback, but the Gran Coupe has a bit more legroom than the 3-Series GT. Make sense? Probably not.
    Let's move onto something that will likely make a bit a more sense and that will be the powertrains. Much like the 3/4-Series, the 4-Series Gran Coupe will feature a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (428i) with 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six (435i) with 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet. An eight-speed automatic is only transmission available for the U.S. All-wheel drive will be optional on the 428i when the 4-Series Gran Coupe is launched. If you want all-wheel drive on your 435i, you'll have to wait till the end of the year.
    The 4-Series will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with sales beginning in the summer. Pricing will start at $41,225 for the 428i and $46,725 for the 435i. Prices include a $925 destination charge.
    Source: BMW
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The New BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
    A new 4-door coupe in the mid-sized performance-luxury segment
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe adds a fresh dimension to one of the company's newest model ranges. It combines the sleek look and sporty character of the 4 Series Coupe with the functionality provided by four-doors and a spacious, flexible luggage compartment. The 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe arrives in the US in early summer of 2014 with two engine choices. The 428i Gran Coupe will feature BMW's award-winning 240hp TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder while the 435i Gran Coupe will be powered by the much-lauded 300hp TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six. The 428i xDrive Gran Coupe will also be available at launch with BMW's intelligent all-wheel drive system. All versions will be offered in the US with an 8-speed sport automatic transmission. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014 and makes its US debut at the New York International Auto Show in April 2014.
    Prices in the US will start at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $41,225 (including $925 destination & handling) for the 428i Gran Coupe. The 428i xDrive Gran Coupe will have an MSRP of $43,225, including destination & handling while the top-of-the-line 435i Gran Coupe will have an MSRP of $46,725, again, including destination & handling.
    
    While this model shares the same length, width, wheelbase and track with the extremely dynamic two-door version, the roofline of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is 4.4 inches (112 mm) longer and slopes gently to the rear of the vehicle. What's more, the silhouette is half an inch (12 mm) higher to offer more headroom and comfort for rear-seat passengers. This contributes to increased headroom at all seats and the overall feeling of interior spaciousness. At the same time, the short front and rear overhangs, the long wheelbase relative to the vehicle length, and the set-back passenger compartment are typical BMW touches that add to the perfect balance of the body design and the sleek appearance of this car, which is derived conceptually from the elegant BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.
    Elegant Coupe with the convenience of a Sedan
    "Taking its cue from a large BMW coupe, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines a dynamic and sleek silhouette with additional functionality and more spaciousness in the rear passenger compartment." –Won Kyu Kang, exterior designer responsible for the BMW 4 Series.
    Like the two-door version, the sporty dimensions of the 4 Series Gran Coupe are a reflection of its dynamic handling characteristics. The stretched roofline, four frameless doors and a wide, electrically operated tailgate provide the functionality of a sedan within the silhouette of a coupe. The volume of the trunk is 17 cu-ft (480 liters), based on EU measurements. The back of the rear seat can be folded down in a 40:20:40 configuration as desired to increase the load capacity to 45.9 cu-ft (1,300 liters). The flat floor and a two-part loading strip made of stainless steel are practical convenience elements, combined with premium materials. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can easily transport a baby stroller, two golf bags or weekend luggage for four without using the folding function.
    In contrast to a two-door coupe, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe offers passengers easier access when entering or leaving the vehicle thanks to the four-door configuration. The doors are frameless, having the characteristic design features of BMW midsize coupes. The wide-access tailgate blends perfectly with the overall silhouette. When closed, the precise flow of the lid seams simulates the look of a typical coupe trunk. The standard electric drives that help move the tailgate are installed vertically and require very little space. Thus the area of the rear window is much larger and provides a very good visibility, without limiting available space.
    At first glance, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is an expression of dynamics and refined elegance. With a length of 182.6" (4,638 mm), a width of 71.9" (1,825mm) and a wheelbase of 110.6" (2,810mm), the four-door variant has the same dimensions as the two-door coupe. The track dimensions of both versions – 60.8" (1,545mm) front and 62.8" (1,594mm) rear – are identical and highlight the dynamic potential of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The silhouette of the four-door model is 0.5" (12mm) higher than the two-door. The stretched roofline flows gently across both rear doors and blends into the slightly raised and short rear section of the car.
    Athletic, elegant and powerful from any perspective.
    The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is instantly recognizable from classic BMW design features such as the iconic kidney grille and dual round headlight clusters. The body contours are executed with precision, with multifaceted surfaces that distinguish the eye-catching look up front. Full LED dual headlights can be ordered as an option to bolster the dynamic aura of the vehicle. The three-part, wide air intakes in the front apron emphasize this effect. The extreme left and right apron corners reveal vertical air channels for the Air Curtains. They generate a veil of air around the front wheels, enhancing the aerodynamic efficiency of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
    The profile is distinguished by a bold swage line and a subtle light-catching edge that create the impression of forward movement in the design of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Stretched lines and expressively contoured surfaces generate a dynamic interplay of light and shadows. The gentle slope of the roofline stretches the appearance of the sides even more and visually strengthens the presence of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The taut and smooth appearance of the side windows, with a B-pillar finished in high-gloss black that is nearly invisible, creating a homogeneous profile. The rear edge of the side glass provides a modern interpretation of the Hofmeister kink that is characteristic of BMW vehicles. This extended window surface allows more light into the interior and improves the overall visibility in the rear passenger compartment.
    The rear of the car features clear horizontal lines that accentuate its athletic elegance. The taillights are positioned at the outer edges to receive the swage lines, thus serving as transitional design elements that join the body side panels with the rear section. At the same time, they highlight the wide track and powerfully flared wheel arches. When viewed from the rear, the roof of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is somewhat wider than that of the two- door version, emphasizing its unique character.
    Stylish elegance and sportiness dominate in the interior.
    "The interior of the four-door coupe unifies the seemingly contradictory character of a dynamic two-door coupe with the elegance and utility of a BMW Sedan or a BMW Gran Turismo." –Tim Shih, interior designer responsible for the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
    The interior of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe presents a stylish fusion of sporty allure and luxury. An approach known as layering – the intelligent utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers – expresses the hallmark BMW driver orientation without compromising the passenger experience. The stylish and functional elegance of the interior is highlighted by prominent round instruments with a black panel look and the free- standing flat-screen iDrive monitor. The cockpit and rear passenger compartment are visually joined by trim strips originating in the instrument panel and extending along the upper sections of the door panels into the rear, and embellished by dual-color window sills. The B-pillar blends into the side panel design and includes flowing graphic effects across the entire surface. The side supports and slender head restraints in the rear seat are contoured for a modern, seemingly molded one-piece look that adds to the sporty character of the 4+1 seater.
    The backrest can be folded in 40:20:40 configurations to create more luggage and storage space as required – with a flat floor for easy loading and unloading. When the seat is completely folded down, the maximum volume capacity is 45.9 cu-ft (1,300 liters), based on EU measure. If only the center segment is folded, four people can ride comfortably while transporting long and bulky items like snowboards, skis, etc. When not folded down, this middle section provides space for two cup holders. The Smart Opener function of Comfort Access is included as part of the Premium Package on US models, which automatically opens the tailgate via gesture control – namely a foot movement underneath the rear bumper when arms are full carrying groceries, packages, etc.
    Exclusive: Choice of two Lines or M Sport.
    The premium ambience of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe results from exclusive colors, high-quality and rich material combinations along with special equipment packages for a customized look. In addition to the standard equipment, which highlights the classic character of the vehicle, two design Lines (Sport and Luxury) as well as M Sport are available. These optional packages endow each 4 Series Gran Coupe with a particular character and identity by embellishing the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Sport and Luxury lines offer various renditions of the following elements in contrast to the basic standard equipment: appearance and color of the kidney grille and air intakes, Air Breathers and mirror covers, side window design, front and rear apron trim, door sill finishers, and an interior center stack finished in high-gloss black.
    To make the strongest dynamic statement, the M Sport package is also available at model launch with special body elements, exterior colors, light-alloy wheels and interior elements.
    Sport Line: In this optional equipment line, special body elements are highlighted in black. The subtle B pillar and the nine slats in the chrome-colored kidney grille have a high-gloss black finish, whereas the side window elements are finished in matt black. The air intakes in the front spoiler and the Air Breathers in high-gloss black draw attention to the aerodynamic elements of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The sporty look is enhanced even more with 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels with a dynamic double-spoke design. The rear is also distinguished by dark elements. A black trim strip and a tailpipe embellisher finished in black chrome stand for sporty dynamics. The interior, by contrast, expresses sporty flair with red accents. For example, the inner rings of the dash instruments and contrast stitching on the steering wheel are red. This character can be highlighted further in the 4 Series Gran Coupe with additional options such as the Coral Red Dakota leather interior with red lower dashboard.
    Luxury Line: Bright chrome that highlights subtle accents contributes to the exceptionally elegant character of the vehicle. The 11 grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and the bright dual crossbar in the front apron's air intakes are very classy touches. The Air Breathers and high-gloss chrome window details add to the appealing look. Light-alloy wheels – 18-inch or 19-inch – with an intricate multi-spoke design reflect extravagance. From the rear, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can be identified by the tailpipe and horizontal trim strip in the rear apron all finished in high-gloss chrome.
    Chrome accents also harmonize with the luxurious interior. The enclosure surrounding the audio system and air conditioning controls, as well as the circular rings highlighting the instrumentation, are eye-catching touches. Premium leather, finely crafted with precise stitching, is available in four classic and elegant colors such as Saddle Brown as well as the new Ivory White that is exclusive to the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
    M Sport: The technology, functions and extraordinary driving dynamics that distinguish every BMW automobile are also evident in the DNA of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Of course, these can be augmented with M Sport which is available at launch. This equipment package is comprised of elements that emphasize street performance – for example, aerodynamic features like the large air intake up front, the diffuser insert in the rear bumper and rocker panel trim matching the color of the vehicle. The characteristic M styling of the 18-inch and 19-inch light-alloy wheels adds to the bold impression. Six exterior colors are offered with M Sport, including exclusive choices such as Carbon Black Metallic (which is available for the first time on any 4 Series) and Estoril Blue Metallic.
    Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver's footrest shape the sporty yet elegant ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into the dynamic-looking and elegant sport seats upholstered in either SensaTec or supple Dakota Leather.
    Technical features of this package include M Sport suspension and the optional M Sport brakes with calipers in contrasting blue paint finish.
    Engines feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe offers a choice of two powerful, and efficient engines in the US featuring the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The range includes the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine in the BMW 435i Gran Coupe ‒ as well as the light and powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the BMW 428i Gran Coupe.
    The power from the engines is delivered to the rear wheels via the standard eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission. All BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe feature the Auto Start Stop function.
    At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupe can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology.
    The performance and torque delivered by ultramodern BMW engines is due in large part to TwinPower Turbo technology. This technology includes innovative solutions such as high- precision direct injection, a turbocharger operating according to the Twin-Scroll principle, double VANOS variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve control. The low-friction engines are also equipped with an aluminum crankcase. This technology package is unrivalled worldwide and combines high performance with utmost efficiency.
    BMW 435i Gran Coupe: inline six-cylinder engine with bold performance, powerful torque and silken smoothness.
    The large-displacement, inline six-cylinder in the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé delivers power with high-revving characteristics and extraordinary smoothness. The 3.0-liter power plant delivers 300 hp between 5,800 rpm and 6,000 rpm, thus contributing to the sovereign dynamics of the new Gran Coupe. Peak torque of 300 lb-ft is generated as low down as 1,300 rpm and remains on tap up to 5,000 rpm. The new BMW 435i Gran Coupé sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. While official US EPA numbers are not yet available for the 435i Gran Coupe, they are expected to be in line with the 435i Coupe, which is rated at 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined.
    BMW 428i Gran Coupe: four cylinders and the ideal balance between sportiness and efficiency.
    Superior performance, spirited power development, high-revving characteristics and low weight: These are the qualities of the innovative four-cylinder petrol engine in the BMW 428i Gran Coupe that ensure a perfect balance between dynamic performance and efficiency. The BMW TwinPower Turbo engine combines high-revving characteristics and high-performance output with low fuel consumption and reduced emissions. The 2.0-liter engine delivers a maximum power output of 240 hp, which is reached between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm. Peak torque of 255 lb-ft is generated between 1,250 rpm and 4,800 rpm. The new BMW 428i Gran Coupe sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. Official US EPA numbers are not yet available for the 428i Gran Coupe, they are expected to be in line with the 428i Coupe, which is rated at 23 mpg city/35 mpg highway/27 mpg combined.
    BMW xDrive: intelligent all-wheel drive for two engine variants.
    At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupe can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology as an alternative to classic rear-wheel drive. In addition to the typical all-wheel drive benefits, such as optimal transmission of engine power to the road, outstanding traction and maximum safety, BMW xDrive reduces understeer and oversteer in curves and thus contributes to agile and precision handling, especially when entering into and accelerating out of curves. The all-wheel system even compensates for sudden load shifts with ease – drivers will immediately feel the dynamic qualities of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The 435i Gran Coupe will be made available with xDrive later in the year.
    Eight-speed sport Steptronic automatic standard.
    Fast gear changes and outstanding shift comfort are qualities delivered by the eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission. Extra shift phases keep increases in rpm small between gear changes, and that contributes to optimal transmission of engine power in every driving situation. Numerous technological innovations and a remarkably high degree of internal efficiency ensure that fuel consumption and emissions do not rise. The intelligent management and control technology also results in extremely short shifting and response times, along with direct gear engagement.
    The standard eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission also rewards drivers with a sporty, "hands-on" experience – they can rely on automatic shifting or manually change gears themselves by using shift paddles on the steering wheel. Drive Mode and Sport Mode are selected with the Driving Dynamics Control on the center console.
    Elaborate suspension technology for the highest degree of comfort, typical BMW handling characteristics, steering and driving precision.
    Rear-wheel drive, steering free from drivetrain influences and well-balanced 50:50 weight distribution create the ideal preconditions for dynamic performance, excellent directional stability and agile handling characteristics. A low center of gravity, a meticulously tuned suspension setup and an intelligent lightweight construction concept result in a first-class overall package that combines seemingly contradictory qualities such as maximum dynamics and outstanding riding comfort in a unique way.
    The BMW 4 Series Coupe provides the basis for sporting performance.
    The suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is modeled on that of the two-door model variant and has the corresponding dimensions. The wheelbase measures 110.6" (2,810mm), the track width 60.8" (1,545mm) at the front and 62.8" (1,594mm) at the rear. The rear track on xDrive variants is 62.6" (1,544mm). While the axle and elastokinematics correspond to that of the BMW 4 Series Coupe, suspension and damping were tailored exclusively to the four-door version.
    Lastly, specific car body reinforcement measures and an innovative strut concept within the front and rear sections of the vehicle help to enhance steering precision and response. Nevertheless, the four-door coupe is only marginally heavier than the two-door variant and even lighter than its competitors. Consequently, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is characterized by driving dynamics, agile handling characteristics and a high level of precision. Ride comfort remains at a very high level, so the dynamic four-door presents itself as a vehicle that is completely suitable for everyday use.
    Aluminum double-pivot spring-strut suspension up front.
    The front suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is based on the tried and tested double-joint spring-strut aluminum construction, which combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight and significantly reduces unsprung masses. Furthermore, a torsion bar located between the front axle support and the sill creates an overall stiffer connection between the front wheels and the vehicle. Models with BMW xDrive all-wheel drive technology feature a special combination comprising a load-bearing strut and transverse brace. An additional strut connecting the suspension domes and the bulkhead significantly enhances the stiffness of the front end. Therefore, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe responds very directly to the driver's steering inputs, resulting in sporty and agile handling and allowing the car to corner effortlessly and with the highest degree of precision.
    Five-arm rear suspension for comfort and active driving.
    The rear suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe plays a critical role in boosting the car's dynamic ability and motoring comfort. The proven five-arm concept features extra- wide mounts and supports on the wheel carriers for track and camber, slightly repositioned pivot points, ultra-stiff control arms and axle subframes. It uses thrust arms to connect the suspension with the body. This layout provides the basis for a sporty overall set-up combined with excellent comfort characteristics. As a result, the rear suspension guarantees precise wheel guidance, maximum directional stability and exemplary ride comfort.
    Servotronic as standard, variable sports steering as an option.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coup features standard Servotronic power steering. The system provides speed-sensitive power assistance and the clearly defined mapping results in sharper steering feel and feedback. The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can be equipped with variable sports steering as an option. This uses different steering ratios depending on the amount of lock applied. Only a small amount of steering effort is required for maneuvering, for example, while unbeatable tracking and straightline stability at high speeds are guaranteed.
    High-performance and lightweight brake system.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe comes equipped with powerful swing-caliper or fixed- caliper brakes and large, inner-vented brake discs. The front calipers are made of aluminum. As well as boasting low unsprung masses, the brakes also give superior heat tolerance, excellent wet braking performance, ease of use and excellent feel. A brake pad wear indicator and the Brake Drying function are standard on all models.
    Intelligent lightweight construction: reduced weight, maximum stability.
    The weight optimization of all components significantly influences the dynamic performance of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Intelligent lightweight design, a complex bodywork construction and the innovative strut concept all provide a level of body stiffness that is on par with that of the two-door model variant. This is why the four-door Gran Coupe provides levels of agility and precision that one would expect of a BMW sports coupe. The use of high-strength and extra-high-strength multi-phase steel as well as tailored blanks – customized precision components for specific applications – maximizes the degree of stability at an optimized weight. Crucial, stiffness-enhancing components are made of micro-alloyed steel. As a result, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe features torsional rigidity that matches that of the two-door model variant.
    Aerodynamics: clever detail solutions for reducing consumption.
    The reduction of air resistance enhances driving dynamics and reduces consumption. Optimization measures on the front apron and at the rear as well as the streamlined, smooth-surfaced underbody help the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe achieve a remarkable aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.27. For example, the BMW Air Curtains in the front apron generate a veil of air that reduces turbulence – and therefore drag – around the front wheels. In order to further optimize driving dynamics, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe features aerodynamically designed wheel arches and air lips positioned in front of them. The Air Breathers positioned rearwards of the front wheel arches divert some of the air flowing through the wheel arches, thereby reducing air resistance.
    Adaptive suspension, M Sport suspension and M Sport brakes.
    An M Sport suspension with a firmer spring/damper set-up and more robust front and rear anti-roll bars is available as an option for the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, and can also be ordered separately from the M Sport package. 18-inch or 19-inch M light alloys are also included in this particular case. Alternatively, customers may prefer to specify adaptive suspension – with its focused sporting set-up and electronically controlled shock absorbers – which adjusts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation at hand. BMW also offers an M Sport brake system for the new Gran Coupe. The team of aluminum fixed calipers (four-piston at the front, two-piston at the rear) and generously sized discs provide ideal preconditions for very short stopping distances.
    Sportier, more comfortable or more efficient at the push of a button.
    In addition to superior driving dynamics, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe delivers a high level of motoring comfort. Using Driving Dynamics Control, the driver can change the vehicle's overall characteristic according to each driving situation or personal preference to either a sporty or comfortable setting. Accelerator pedal progression, engine response, power steering characteristics and response thresholds of DSC Dynamic Stability Control are influenced by this. The system also interacts with the Steptronic transmission and the optional Dynamic Damper Control. Drivers can select their desired mode – ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and even SPORT+. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components.
    BMW EfficientDynamics: better performance, better fuel economy.
    Impressive performance coupled with exemplary efficiency is based on the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, the results of which are implemented in almost all areas on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The optimized fuel economy of the engines, transmissions delivering a high level of efficiency, the intelligent lightweight construction concept, honed aerodynamics and other efficiency-enhancing technologies incorporated into the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe all help to optimize driving dynamics, while at the same time reducing consumption and emissions.
    Package of measures to consistently reduce emissions and increase the pleasure of driving.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe features an Auto Start Stop function to bring about additional economy advantages. Brake Energy Regeneration, which is also a standard feature, ensures that the generation of electric current for the onboard electrical systems concentrates on the overrun and braking phases. ECO PRO mode in particular helps the driver of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe to achieve the best possible fuel efficiency. ECO PRO influences the engine control unit and the characteristic curve of the accelerator pedal. In addition, it contributes to intelligent energy and climate management. The driver is also provided with tips on how to reduce energy consumption even further for the best possible motoring efficiency.
    In conjunction with the Steptronic transmission, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe also features a coasting mode. At speeds of between 30 and 100 mph (50 and 160 km/h), in ECO PRO mode, the drivetrain is disconnected as soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. As a result, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vehicle is able to 'sail' without engine power, thereby also achieving maximum fuel efficiency.
    The ancillary units are also incorporated into the intelligent energy management system of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Examples include the demand-controlled coolant pump, the map-controlled oil pump as well as electromechanical power steering, whose electric motor only uses energy when power steering is required. The same is true for the on-demand air-conditioning compressor which reduces the system's power loss to a minimum.
    Intelligent lightweight construction reduces consumption.
    Systematic lightweight construction plays a major part in increasing efficiency and agility. This concept is applied in all areas of development and comprises all components. The targeted utilization of plastics, state-of-the-art composites and the increased deployment of aluminum components in the manufacture of engines and suspensions have helped reduce the weight of the corresponding assembly groups. All these measures have a positive effect on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe's driving dynamics.
    BMW ConnectedDrive: Comfort, safety and infotainment.
    The networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world with new assistance systems and information and entertainment features is increasingly enhancing safety and comfort within the vehicle. BMW was early in recognizing the significance of networking and began integrating the digital world in its cars many years ago. The BMW ConnectedDrive systems offered in the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe either as standard or as an option underline the technological leadership. The extraordinarily high level of development in mobile automotive communication is reflected in the fact that even after purchasing a BMW, customers can, for a limited period of time, flexibly order and subscribe to a range of technologies and services.
    Navigation System: operation with touch controller.
    The latest generation of the Navigation System has a significantly greater breadth of functionality and a high-resolution, contrast-rich, color display. The graphics of the previous user interface have been completely revised and the navigation system's maps now have 3D elements. The central Control Display is operated in the familiar way using the ergonomically perfectly positioned iDrive touch controller in the center console, which now has an integral new, touch-sensitive surface and proximity sensor technology for even more convenient use. Users can use their finger to write characters or to enter destinations in the navigation system. They can now choose between using their handwriting or conventionally entering the destinations by rotating and pressing the controller.
    Head-Up Display: full-color, high-resolution.
    In the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, all information relevant to the driver is presented by the Head-Up Display directly in the driver's line of vision. The information from the assistance systems, the navigation system or information pertaining to speed is projected onto the windshield in a particularly brilliant resolution using the full color spectrum. The wide variety of driver assistance systems now available brings the amount of information that can be shown in the Head-Up Display to a whole new level.
    Advanced Real Time Traffic Information: the smart way to avoid congestion.
    The quality of traffic management depends on the quality and timeliness of traffic data available. The optional ARTTI (Advanced Real Time Traffic Information) system from BMW transmits data quickly and accurately via the mobile phone network. A SIM card integrated in the vehicle receives traffic data in real time and then calculates routes or detours instantly. ARTTI covers interstate highways and state highways as well as primary, secondary or even tertiary roads. Data is additionally obtained from local authority traffic management systems to provide precise information on traffic density. ARTTI is included with the Navigation System option in the US.
    Active Driving Assistant warns the driver of potential collisions – including those involving pedestrians.
    The Active Driving Assistant uses intelligently networked camera-based assistant systems and image processing to detect any people or vehicles within its field of vision. The movements of pedestrians are difficult to anticipate – they stop or suddenly change direction. Therefore, they impose much higher demands on the detection capabilities of assistant systems than vehicles driving ahead. When the system recognizes a looming risk of collision, it produces an acute audible warning and a visual signal appears in the instrument cluster or the Head-Up Display to alert the driver that he or she is drawing too close. The system ideally avoids a collision or, should worst come to worst, significantly reduces the consequences of an impact.
    Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function: a system of many talents.
    More active safety and more comfort are provided by the latest version of BMW's Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (ACC Stop&Go). It uses the data provided by the full-range radar sensors, continuously measures the proximity of the vehicle ahead and warns the BMW driver if necessary. Active Cruise Control with automatic distance control is now available at speeds between 20 and 130 mph (30 km/h and 210 km/h).
    Active Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning systems use sensors and camera monitoring.
    Active Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning are convenience and safety- enhancing assistance systems. These systems employ radar sensors and use the data from the front camera to alert drivers to potential collision risks when changing lanes or if they veer out of lane unintentionally and also issue a warning when driving too close to the vehicle ahead. The Lane Departure Warning system is only available as part of the Active Driving Assistant.
    Speed Limit Info: always up to date.
    In conjunction with the Navigation System, Speed Limit Info helps to keep the driver informed of the speed limit for the current stretch of road. The front-mounted camera ensures that additional signs or variable overhead gantry signs are taken into account. In addition, the system is able to reliably identify and react to temporary speed limits. When the window wipers are active, the system also detects signs that are valid in wet conditions only. In conjunction with the exact onboard time, speed limits are presented which are only in force at certain times of day or night.
    Improved sight at night: full LED headlights with High Beam Assistant.
    The bright white light emitted by full LED headlights illuminates the road ahead with an exceptional intensity. The High Beam Assistant can also adapt to the traffic situation by switching to low beam. In conjunction with the front camera, the system reliably detects well lit stretches of road and switches to low beam when passing through cities, for example. The LED headlights with High Beam Assistant significantly increase the usage of high beam and therefore provide for better sight and increased safety when driving at night. When LED headlights are fitted, the optional fog lights are also implemented in LED technology, which further accentuates the premium character of the car's features and equipment.
    Superb overview and convenient parking.
    In addition to the rear view camera and PDC Park Distance Control, customers can also opt for the Surround View function with Side View and TopView, which provides a bird's eye view of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the area around it, enabling the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car's speed is under about 12 mph (20 km/h), the Side View function can additionally be activated to allow the driver to keep an eye on cross traffic. Convenience is further enhanced by the BMW Parking Assistant system which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. Sensors detect possible parking spaces while driving by and the system perfectly maneuvers the car into the parking spot if desired. The driver controls the speed by applying the accelerator and the brake pedal as well as switch between the forward and reverse gear.
    Services and apps: innovative services and infotainment in its purest form.
    Due to the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and other digital devices, Internet, apps and digital services have been an integral of everyday life for some time now.
    BMW ConnectedDrive offers high-performance interface technology and provides top-of- the-range infotainment and entertainment capability that enables the driver and passengers to make extensive use of external mobile phones and music players. Through the optional ConnectedDrive Services, the world of apps can be integrated into the vehicle. Browser- based BMW online applications are loaded directly into the vehicle via an embedded onboard SIM card. These applications put at the driver's disposal online services such as weather, news or office functions. Smartphone apps allow in-car use of innovative services like Stitcher, Audible, Amazon Cloud Player, Twitter or Facebook.
    The latest-generation Navigation System features a full speech recognition function and an optimized voice control system to complete the portfolio of office functions offered by BMW ConnectedDrive. The full speech recognition system enables drivers to dictate text freely and compose short text-based messages by voice. In addition, Internet-based services, as well as calendar entries and text-based messages, can still be viewed in the Control Display of the iDrive operating system and read out via the Text to Speech function.
    The all-new 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe arrives in US showrooms in early summer.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    And the award for the craziest hypercar shown at Geneva goes to the Lamborghini Veneno Concept.
    The Veneno concept like what a twelve-year old would design (not saying that is a bad thing). There are a variety of vents and scoops, exposed carbon fiber panels, large rear wing, wedge shaped nose, asymmetrical wheel wells, and rear fender scoops. Its what you expect from a concept done by Lamborgini.
    There is a reason for the crazy design and that reason is aerodynamics. The front of the Veneno was designed to act as a large wing, thus providing more downforce. The front fenders are separated from the body to improve airflow and as an homage to sports racing prototypes.
    The Veneno is mostly made out of carbon fiber and CFRP to help keep weight down. The carbon monocoque and aluminum subframes come from the Aventador.
    Power comes from the Aventador’s 6.5L V12 engine producing 750 horsepower. That goes through Lamborghini’s seven-speed single-clutch gearbox. Top speed is 220 MPH.
    Lamborghini has built four Venenos. One of those is the test vehicle that was shown. The other three will each be finished in either green, red or white (the colors of the Italian flag. Before you ask, the three have been spoken for with a pricetag of $3.9 million.
    Source: Lamborghini
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Lamborghini Veneno - a racing prototype and road-going super sports car as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini
    In the year of its 50th anniversary Automobili Lamborghini is presenting an extremely exclusive model at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. Only three unique units of the Lamborghini Veneno will be built and sold. Its design is consistently focused on optimum aerodynamics and cornering stability, giving the Veneno the real dynamic experience of a racing prototype, yet it is fully homologated for the road. With a maximum output of 552 kW / 750 hp, the Veneno accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds and the top speed for this street-legal racing car stands at 355 km/h. It is priced at three million Euros plus tax – and all three units have already been sold to customers.
    The Lamborghini Veneno features a twelve-cylinder power unit with a displacement of 6.5 liters, an extremely fast-shifting 7-speed ISR transmission with 5 driving modes and permanent all-wheel drive, as well as a racing chassis with pushrod suspension and horizontal spring/damper units. Above all, however, the Veneno benefits from the very special expertise that Automobili Lamborghini possesses in the development and execution of carbon-fiber materials – the complete chassis is produced as a CFRP monocoque, as is the outer skin of this extreme sports car. The inside, too, features innovative, Lamborghini-patented materials such as Forged Composite and CarbonSkin.
    Fully in keeping with the tradition of the brand, the name of the Veneno originates from a legendary fighting bull.
    Veneno is the name of one of the strongest and most aggressive fighting bulls ever. He is also famous for being one of the fastest bulls in the history of bullfighting. His name became popular in 1914, when he fatally wounded the famous torero José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barrameda's, Andalusia, Spain.
    The Design
    The Lamborghini Veneno brings the aerodynamic efficiency of a racing prototype to the road. Every detail of its form pursues a clear function – exceptional dynamics, optimum downforce with minimal drag and perfect cooling of the high-performance engine. Yet the Veneno is unmistakably a Lamborghini; it sticks firmly to the consistent design philosophy of all the super sports cars from Sant'Agata Bolognese. That includes the extreme proportions, as well as the powerfully arrow-shaped front end and the interplay between razor-sharp lines and precise surfaces.
    The entire front end of the Lamborghini Veneno has been laid out for perfect airflow and downforce. The front end works as a large aerodynamic wing. Large channels guide the air to the outlets in the front hood and in front of the windshield, as well as to the front wheels. Characteristic for Lamborghini is the Y shape of the angular headlamps that reach well into the fenders as well as the scissor doors.
    The division of the fenders from the car body is a reference to the world of sport prototypes and optimizes at the same time the aerodynamic flow. The side line of the Veneno is therefore dominated by enormous sills and the mighty wheel arches front and rear. Here, too, sophisticated aerodynamics ensure perfect airflow to the large openings for engine cooling and intake air.
    Just like the front end, the rear of the Veneno has also been optimized for underbody aerodynamics and high speed cornering stability. The smooth underbody transitions into a substantial diffuser framing the four sizable exhaust pipes divided by a splitter to increase the level of downforce peak. Large openings serve to ventilate the engine bay and manage the airflow to the rear wing, with the only sealed area at the rear being reserved for the license plate. The rear lights, including brake lights, indicator lights and fog lights, pick up the Y theme as well. The engine cover sports six wedge-shaped openings, with the focus here, too, on optimum dissipation of heat from the engine. The engine cover extends into a large central "shark" fin, which improves efficiency during braking and rear-end stability, by delivering additional downforce at high yaw angles and thus increasing the high-speed cornering performance.
    The adjustable rear wing's design is the product of Motorsport experience and extensive aerodynamic simulation to ensure the best performance of rear wing interaction with rear diffuser air flow.
    The exclusive alloy wheels measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear and are equipped with center mountings. Their design is also determined by aerodynamic functionality – a carbon-fiber ring around the wheel rim works like a turbine to deliver additional cooling air to the carbon-ceramic brake discs.
    The Veneno is painted in an all-new, grey metallic-look color with individual parts gleaming in the black of the visible carbon-fiber structure. The only car to display all three colors of the Italian flag as an accent is the car shown at Geneva, the unit which will remain property of Lamborghini. The three cars sold to customers each feature a single color of the Italian national flag, together a triology in green, white and red accents and thus representing each a unique piece.
    The Technology
    The Veneno is further proof of Automobili Lamborghini's unique competence in CFRP-based lightweight design. A monocoque made from carbon-fiber reinforced polymer forms the basis of the Veneno. It is largely similar to the Aventador monocoque – as are the aluminum sub-frames front and rear – although its form has been adapted to the new design. All exterior parts are made from CFRP. The Veneno meets all safety and registration requirements worldwide, and naturally also incorporates a full complement of safety systems from airbags through to the adapted ESP handling system.
    Carbon fiber dominates the interior of the Veneno, too. The carbon fiber monocoque becomes visible inside the car in the area of the central tunnel and the sills. The two lightweight bucket seats are made from Lamborghini's patented Forged Composite. The woven carbon-fiber CarbonSkin® is used to clad the entire cockpit, part of the seats and the headliner. This unique material is soaked in a very special kind of resin that stabilizes the fiber structure, while allowing the material to remain supple. Like a hi-tech fabric, this extremely fine-looking carbon-fiber matting fits perfectly to any form, and it reduces weight.
    The racing personality has been transferred also to the instrument panel. It has been completely redesigned and now, thanks to an aggressive graphics and to the introduction of some additional features like the G-meter, provides all necessary information to the driver for control of the car.
    The systematic, carbon-fiber, lightweight design of the Veneno is not only visible, it is also evident on the scales: With a dry weight of just 1,450 kilograms (3,190 pounds), the Veneno is even 125 kilos (275 pounds) lighter than the already extremely lean Aventador. The highly beneficial power-to-weight ratio of 1.93 kg/hp (4,25 lbs/hp) guarantees a performance that is nothing short of mind-blowing. Even the stunning acceleration figure of 2,8 seconds cannot adequately describe it. Despite an aerodynamic setup configured for extreme downforce, the Veneno possesses exceptionally low wind resistance which allows it to reach a top speed of 355 km/h (221 mph).
    The twelve-cylinder with a displacement of 6.5 liters is a thrilling combination of absolute high-revving frenzy and phenomenal pulling power. Its output has been raised to 552 kW / 750 hp, facilitated through enlarged intake paths, optimized thermodynamics, a slightly higher rated rpm and an exhaust system with even lower back pressure. The ISR manual gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive and pushrod suspension have all been specifically adjusted to meet the demands of the Veneno.
    The Lamborghini Veneno celebrates its first public appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle on show is the number 0, the Lamborghini test vehicle. Its future has not been determined yet, but it will allow Lamborghini to continue its activity of testing and innovation, both on the road and on the race track. The trilogy made of three unique vehicles will be produced in the course of the year 2013 and handed over to their future owners.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 19, 2013
    Say hello to the to the redesigned Bentley Continental Flying Spur. Pictures of the redesigned model surfaced today on the web, well ahead of its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
    The exterior design of the Continental Flying Spur borrows heavily from the Continental GT and GTC. The biggest change deals with the rear end as Bentley redesigned it to bring it more in line with the larger Mulsanne sedan.
    The Flying Spur's interior has been updated to keep it in line with the Continental GT and GTC, and features a new dash layout, steering wheel, and instrument panel.
    Power will come from 6.0L W12 engine which currently makes 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Also coming will be a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine.
    We'll have more info on the Flying Spur when it makes its official introduction at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
    Source: AutoWP.ru



    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Jeep Tackles The Subcompact Marketplace With The Renegade

    Jeep is charting new trail to the subcompact marketplace with the introduction of the 2015 Renegade at the Geneva Motor Show today.
    You cannot mistake the Renegade for anything but a Jeep. The boxy design is very reminiscent of the XJ Cherokee. There is also elements of the Wrangler and the last-generation Liberty in the Renegade's design. Those looking for something a bit more aggression in the Renegade will be happy to hear that Jeep will offer a Trailhawk package which increases the ride height by 0.8 inches, front and rear tow hooks painted in red, unique front and rear fascias, a special paint treatment, and seventeen-inch all-terrain tires.
    Inside, Jeep designers mixed rugged cues and the latest materials to create a very comfortable, yet distinctive design. There is seating for five people and features 12.4 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up. That increases to 30.7 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. Chrysler's UConnect system will be available with a 5-inch or optional 6.5-inch touchscreen. Chrysler's 7-inch TFT screen in the gauge cluster is optional.
    Jeep has fitted the Renegade with the option of two removable roof panels called MySky. When the panels are removed, it gives the Renegade an open-air feeling that is similar to the Wrangler.
    For the U.S., the Renegade will come equipped with two different engines. The base will be the turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Optional will be the 2.4L Tigershark four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The MultiAir will come with a six-speed manual as standard, while a nine-speed automatic is optional. The 2.4L Tigershark will have the nine-speed as standard.
    Front-wheel drive is standard, while the Renegade has the option of two four-wheel drive systems. First up is Jeep Active Drive which uses a disconnecting rear-axle and power transfer unit. The system mostly operates in two-wheel drive until slip is detected and the system kicks into four-wheel drive. Then there is Jeep Active Drive Low which is standard on the Trailhawk. It features a 20:1 crawl ratio and is full-time. Both systems come with Jeep's Selec-Terrain system which varies the settings of four-wheel drive system to match the terrain.
    The Jeep Renegade arrives at dealers early next year.
    Source: Jeep

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade: Most Capable Small SUV Expands the Brand's Global Portfolio
    - All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade marks the brand's first entry in the small SUV segment
    - Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class 4x4 Trail Rated capability with class-exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes 20:1 crawl ratio and Jeep Selec-Terrain system
    - Designed to expand the Jeep brand globally, the all-new 2015 Renegade combines the brand's heritage with fresh new styling to appeal to youthful and adventurous customers
    - Nothing else like it: Renegade displays a powerful stance with aggressive wheel-to- body proportions, plus the freedom of two My Sky open-air roof systems
    - Renegade's all-new interior exudes an energetic appearance with rugged and functional details, crafted in high-quality materials and inspired colors
    - All-new "small-wide 4x4 architecture" combines best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics
    - Designed for global markets – with 16 fuel-efficient powertrain combinations for different markets around the world – including the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission in a small SUV
    - Renegade will offer a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability
    - Technology once limited to premium SUVs: award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreen radios and the segment's largest full-color instrument cluster
    - Loaded with up to 70 available advanced safety and security features
    - Designed in America, crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade highlights the Jeep brand's global resources and dedication to meeting customer needs in more than 100 countries

    The all-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade expands the brand's global vehicle lineup, entering the growing small SUV segment, while staying true to the adventurous lifestyle Jeep is known for. Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on- road and off-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engines, world-class refinement, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The result is an efficient vehicle created to attract youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the Jeep brand.
    The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand's product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,‖ said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. ―Renegade symbolizes the brand's renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand's first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe.
    Best-in-class off-road capability thanks to two all-new 4x4 systems
    Leveraging 4x4 technology from the all-new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers two of the most advanced and intelligent 4x4 systems in its class, all to deliver best-in-class off-road capability. Both systems can provide up to 100 percent of the engine's available torque to the ground, through any wheel, for optimal grip.
    - Jeep Active Drive – full-time 4x4 system
    - Jeep Active Drive Low – class-exclusive full-time 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio
    Innovation is also at the forefront of any new Jeep vehicle, and the Renegade is the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) – all to provide Jeep Renegade 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4x4 traction is needed.
    Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition.
    Trail Rated: Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 model
    For customers who demand the most off-road capability from their Jeep vehicles, the Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability with:
    - Standard Jeep Active Drive Low (20:1 crawl ratio)
    - Selec-Terrain system with exclusive Rock mode
    - Increased ride height 20 mm (0.8 inches)
    - Skid plates, and red front and rear tow hooks
    - Unique fascias deliver 30.5 degree approach, 25.7 degree breakover and 34.3 degree departure angles
    - 17-inch all-terrain tires
    - Up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation
    - Hill-descent Control
    - Up to 480 mm (19 inches) of water fording
    - Up to 1,500 kg (3,300-lb.) towing capability with MultiJet II diesel engine and 907 kg (2,000- lb.) towing capability with 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, with available tow package
    A global Jeep design for a rapidly growing global brand
    From the start, Jeep designers knew the Renegade would need to deliver best-in-class off-road capability with city-sized proportions that exuded the brand's rugged style while at the same time enhancing versatility, maneuverability and style. Additionally designers were tasked to create an all- new SUV that would symbolize the brand's renowned American design and ingenuity, as it would mark the Jeep brand's first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe. Last, Renegade had to offer the open-air freedom that dates back to its 1941 roots with the Willys MB Jeep.
    The result is the all-new 2015 Renegade, a vehicle that builds on the Jeep Wrangler's powerful stance, and features fresh new styling with rugged body forms and aggressive proportions that enable best-in-class approach and departure angles purposely designed to deliver best-in-class off- road capability. And for segment-exclusive panoramic views, two available My Sky open-air roof panel systems conveniently stow to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease.
    All-new interior exudes a rugged and energetic appearance
    The all-new Jeep Renegade interior features a rugged and energetic appearance that builds upon Jeep's legendary brand heritage. Its precisely crafted detail, innovative and high-quality color and material appointments, state-of-the-art technology, and clever storage features draw inspiration from contemporary extreme sports gear and lifestyles.
    The interior of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has a distinctive form language which Jeep designers have titled ―Tek-Tonic.‖ This new design theme is defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details. Major surfaces such as the sculpted soft-touch instrument panel are intersected with bold functional elements like the passenger grab handle – indispensable for off-road adventures and borrowed from its big brother, the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Unique ―protective clamp fasteners,‖ anodized design accents and inspired colors are derived from extreme sports equipment, while the newly familiar ―X‖ shapes inspired by its roof and tail lamps add to Renegade's Tek-Tonic interior look. And to make sure all of the needed passenger gear fits, the Renegade is designed with an efficient and flexible interior package that includes a removable, reversible and height-adjustable cargo floor panel and fold-forward front-passenger seat.
    My Sky: continuing Jeep open-air freedom since 1941
    Keeping the tradition of the legendary 1941 Willys MB Jeep, the all-new 2015 Renegade offers open-air freedom with two available My Sky open-air roof systems. With a manual removable, or removable with premium power tilt/slide feature, the segment-exclusive My Sky roof-panel systems quickly bring the outdoors inside. Designed for convenience, the honeycomb fiberglass polyurethane roof panels are lightweight and stow neatly in the rear cargo area. For added design detail, both My Sky roof systems feature a debossed ―X‖ stamped into the roof that exude strength and play on the brand's utilitarian history.
    Best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics
    Designed and engineered to first and foremost deliver legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, the all-new 2015 Renegade is the first small SUV from Chrysler Group to use the all-new ―small-wide 4x4 architecture.‖
    With its fully independent suspension capable of up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation and 220 mm (8.7 inches) of ground clearance (Trailhawk), Renegade raises the bar in the small SUV segment with best-in-class off-road capability. Extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations enable the all-new 2015 Renegade's architecture to deliver world-class torsional stiffness and Jeep brand's durability required for Trail Rated adventures.
    The all-new Renegade is the first Jeep to integrate Koni's frequency selective damping (FSD) front and rear strut system. This damping system enables the Jeep Renegade to deliver world-class road-holding and handling characteristics.
    Designed for global markets: 16 powertrain combinations

    True to the Jeep brand, the all-new Renegade will offer customers in global markets maximum off- road capability and fuel efficiency. The Renegade will offer up to 16 strategic powertrain combinations – the most ever in a Jeep vehicle – customized to markets around the world to meet a range of performance and efficiency needs. Powertrain options include:
    - Four MultiAir gasoline engine offerings
    - Two MultiJet II diesel engine offerings
    - Efficient and flex-fuel capable E.torQ engine
    - Emissions and fuel-saving Stop&Start technology
    - Segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission
    - Two manual and one dual-dry clutch transmission (DDCT) offerings
    World's first small SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission
    Like the new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has raised the bar - this time in the small SUV class - with the first available nine-speed automatic transmission. When paired with either the 2.0-liter MultiJet II diesel engine, or 2.4-liter MultiAir2 gas engine, the nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.
    Segment-exclusive technologies once found only on higher classed SUVs
    The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers technology features once found only in upper-segment vehicles, and makes them attainable to customers in the growing small SUV segment – including award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreens and the segment's largest full-color instrument cluster.
    - Uconnect Access: Utilizes embedded cellular technology to allow Jeep Renegade occupants to get directly in contact with local emergency-service dispatchers – all with the push of the 9-1-1 Assist button on the rearview mirror. Uconnect Access applies the same logic to roadside assistance. One push of the ―ASSIST‖ button summons help directly from Chrysler Group's roadside assistance provider, or the Vehicle Customer Care Center. Further peace of mind comes from the system's ability to receive text messages, announce receipt of texts, identify senders and then ―read‖ the messages aloud with Bluetooth-equipped cell phones. AOL Autos named Uconnect Access its ―Technology of the Year for 2013.‖ (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)

    - Uconnect touchscreen radio systems: Award-winning in-vehicle handsfree communication, entertainment and available navigation. Key features available on the Uconnect 5.0 and 6.5AN systems include a 5.0-inch or 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, single or dual-turner, radio data system capability (RDS), digital audio broadcast (DAB), HD Radio, digital media broadcasting (DMB), SiriusXM Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, SiriusXM Travel Link, USB port and auxiliary audio jack input. (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)
    - Segment's largest full-color instrument cluster display: Filling the Jeep Renegade's gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, full-color, premium multiview display, featuring a reconfigurable function that enables drivers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. The information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.
    Renegade features up to 70 advanced safety and security features
    Safety and security were at the forefront in the development of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade, setting the stage for up to 70 available safety and security features – including the availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus.
    In addition, engineers added both active and passive safety and security features, including Blind- spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines; electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.
    Jeep brand's global resources
    Designed in America and crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade continues the Jeep brand's dedication to the global marketplace and demonstrates the depths of its available resources. The final assembly location for the Renegade will be at the Melfi Assembly Plant. The Renegade's global portfolio of powertrain production includes the United States, Italy and Brazil.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    A day before its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, pictures of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class made their way onto the internet.
    The pictures show the new A-Class striking the same look as the A-Class concept shown at last year's New York Auto Show. The front end of the production A-Class is almost identical to the concept, with its large grill, headlights with LED running lights, and daring character lines.
    The back end is more sedate than the concept and features traditional squared off taillights with LED accents.
    The new A-Class rides on Mercedes-Benz's new MFA front-wheel drive platform, which underpins the new B-Class and is expected to underpin a new compact crossover, small CLS-like sedan, and a new Infiniti compact.
    Engines will be range of gas and diesel options for Europe.
    As for the U.S., we'll not see the A-Class. But, we will see a few models based on the same platform.

    Source: ForoCoches
    More Information on Page 2

    Only a few hours after the leak of some A-Class pictures, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new A-Class to everyone at a press event before the start of the Geneva Motor Show. We have some new information about engines and transmissions.
    The A-Class will have variety of gas and diesel options for the European market. Gas engines will include a 1.6L turbocharged unit producing 121 HP, a 154 HP version of the 1.6L engine, and a 2.0L turbo-four producing 208hp. Diesel options will include a 1.8L engine churning out 108 HP and 184 lb-ft, a 134 HP, 221 lb-ft of the 1.8L, and a 2.2L turbocharged four delivering 168 HP and 258 lb-ft.
    All engines are available with the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and come equipped with the ECO start/stop function standard.
    There is also talk of an AMG version that will use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine possibly delivering well over 300 HP and go to all four wheels.

    Press Release is on Page 3
    "All set for attack"


    Geneva/Stuttgart. The heartbeat of a new generation: at the centre of Mercedes-Benz's presence at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012) will be the world premiere of the new A-Class. The company is opening up a whole new chapter in the compact segment: markedly emotive in design, with powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), and extremely efficient, with emissions from just 99g/CO2/km. At the same time the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz safety is not a question of price - the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system.
    "A is for Attack: the A-Class is a clear statement of the new dynamism of the Mercedes-Benz brand", explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers and designers have made the very most of that opportunity."
    Design and dynamism are obvious characteristics of the new A-Class even at first glance, simply in the way it sits up to 18 centimetres closer to the road than its predecessor. The radical new design idiom that was so enthusiastically received upon its first appearance with the "Concept A-CLASS" has been rigorously applied for the series-production model. With their fresh interpretation of the classic two-box design, the Mercedes designers have created an emotive exterior with a pronounced sporty flair.
    "Applying the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz to the compact class was a challenge that we thoroughly enjoyed", explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. "The almost sculptural lines of the A-Class are very typical
    for Mercedes. The feature lines, particularly along the sides of the car, then give the A-Class structure and tautness."
    The objective when it came to the interior design was to complement the sporty look of the exterior. On top of this the car has a high-quality feel about it that is unique in this segment, achieved both through the design idiom as such and through the choice and combinations of the high-quality materials used. As seen in the Concept A-CLASS, there is an option allowing a smartphone to be fully integrated into the operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of the iPhone®, and in due course also of other smartphones, in the car.
    All trim surfaces feature an electroplated finish in "silver chrome", giving them a genuine metallic surface with "cool touch" effect.
    "This is just one example of the way in which the quality of the A-Class's interior is not defined by classic trim elements but by consistent design and by the specific materials used", explains Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. "The motto we used
    when designing the interior was 'pure sportiness, newly interpreted'."
    Particular visual highlights include, for example, the air vents, which stand out like "sparkling jewels" (Sinkwitz), so underlining the exceptional quality of the interior. The sporty character of the vehicle is further emphasised by the integral seats (optional extra) in the front. The rear seat is similarly sporty in appearance and can accommodate up to three passengers. As well as the basic specification, which can be individualised with a wide range of options, there is a choice of design and equipment lines that have been put together with the requirements of customers in mind: "Urban", "Style", and "AMG Sport".
    The world premiere of the new A-Class (length/width/height: 4292/1780/1433 millimetres) will take place at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012). It will be making its way to European dealers in September 2012.
    Sporty exclusivity: the A-Class Sport offers a fresh definition of dynamism
    For the first time, the performance specialists from AMG were involved in the development of the compact class from a very early stage. The result is the most dynamic version of the new model series - the A-Class Sport 'engineered by AMG', in which the visual affinity to the Concept A-CLASS is at its most evident - particularly in terms of the new diamond grille. The A-Class Sport features exclusive 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design with 235/40 R18 tyres all round and painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, together with red-painted brake callipers.
    These give an indication of the particularly dynamic driving qualities of the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport, which are differentiated, amongst other factors, by a special AMG-developed front axle and a suspension that has been configured to match.
    Hints of red on the AMG front and rear aprons also serve to emphasise the expressive positioning of the new model. The contrast between black trim and additional accents in red continues in the interior: the contrasting decorative topstitching on the steering wheel and seats is in this same bright shade, as are the seat belts. The ambient lighting of the instruments and the highlight rings of the air vents are similarly red.
    Drive system: new petrol and diesel-powered engines
    A broad range of both petrol and diesel engines has something to suit every performance requirement, whilst also demonstrating the current state of the art in terms of efficiency: for the first time, a Mercedes-Benz will produce emissions of just 99 g of CO2 per kilometre.
    The bandwidth of the new generation of petrol engines with a displacement of 1.6 and 2.0 litres ranges from 90 kW (115 hp) in the A 180 and 115 kW (156 hp) in the A 200 through to 155 kW (211 hp) in the A 250. Common to all is the combination of direct injection and exhaust gas turbocharging, a more advanced combustion process and an extended stratification range for lean-burn operation that uses fast-acting injectors for the multiple injection of the fuel as well as on-demand multi-spark ignition. CAMTRONIC is an innovation that will be celebrating its world premiere in the 1.6-litre engine: adjusting the valve lift on the intake side restricts the amount of fresh mixture used in the partial load range, so reducing consumption.
    The diesel engines also offer an impressively high level of efficiency and environmental compatibility, thanks to sophisticated injection technology
    and turbocharging. The A 180 CDI offers an output of 80 kW (109 hp) and a maximum torque of up to 250 Nm, while the A 200 CDI has a maximum output of 100 kW (136 hp) and torque that rises to 300 Nm. The A 220 CDI has a displacement of 2.2 litres, an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and torque of 350 Nm, delivering absolutely exceptional performance in the A-Class.
    All engines in the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined either with the new six-speed manual transmission or, as an option, with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission.
    Further highlights: suspension, aerodynamics, safety
    The dynamism promised by the design and drive system is realised by the suspension. A noticeably lower centre of gravity and a new 4-link rear axle provide the basis for this; and would also make the installation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive possible. Customers can choose between various suspension settings, among them the optional sports suspension with Direct-Steer system. The electromechanical steering in the A-Class has been completely redesigned, so that the electric motor for the power assistance now sits directly on the steering gear in the form of a compact and extremely precise Dual Pinion EPS.
    Its exceptional aerodynamic performance, with a new record Cd value of 0.26, puts the A-Class at the top of its class. This is further helped by the standard roof spoiler, which hides all the unsightly aerials on the A-Class. The A-Class is the only vehicle in its class to feature as standard a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist, which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. The COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system gives a visual and acoustic warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for the most precise braking response possible. This is initiated as soon as the driver steps firmly on the brake pedal.
    The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system is now available for the first time in the A-Class. This innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002, thus makes its very first appearance in the compact class. Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side
    windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat with memory functionto an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems. PRE-SAFE® is always activated in response to critical longitudinal and lateral dynamics and may also be triggered upon intervention by certain assistance functions.
    The democratisation of safety also encompasses an array of other assistance systems which have been adopted into the A-Class from the larger model series. These include:
    ATTENTION ASSIST (standard)
    Brake HOLD function (standard)
    Hill-Start Assist (standard)
    DISTRONIC PLUS
    Adaptive Highbeam Assist
    Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist
    Speed Limit Assist (speed limit sign recognition)
    Active Parking Assist
    LINGUATRONIC
    Reversing camera


    William Maley

    CL-Class Says Farewell, S-Class Coupe Says Hello

    When the Geneva Motor Show begins next month, it will signal a change in Mercedes-Benz's coupe lineup. The CL moniker will be retired and in its place will be the S-Class moniker placed on the next-generation big coupe.
    The 2015 S-Class Coupe's styling is nearly identical to the Concept S-Class Coupe that debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show. The front end is very reminiscent to the CLA and upcoming C-Class with a large grille and emblem. On the special S550 Edition 1 models, the LED headlights feature 47 Swarovski crystals to create a jeweled look. Out of those 47, 17 are used for the daytime-running lights and the rest are for the turn signals. Turning towards the side profile, long doors extend into pillarless side windows, a trademark of big Mercedes-Benz coupes. Around back is a much more racier tail with thinner taillights.
    The S-Class Coupe's interior is directly pulled from the S-Class sedan, including its “floating” lower dashboard. Standard on the S-Class Coupe is a panorama sunroof that Mercedes-Benz says is 150 percent larger than the outgoing CL's sunroof. The sunroof also features Magic Sky Control which can vary the transparency of the glass.
    For the U.S., the S-Class Coupe will be available with one engine at launch; a twin-turbocharged 4.7L V8 engine producing 449 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque. This is paired with Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Oddly, the automaker doesn't say what transmission will come with the V8. Most likely, it happens to be the seven-speed automatic transmission.
    On the handling front, Mercedes-Benz has fitted the S-Class Coupe with a system called "active curve tilting function." Working together with the Active Body Control, the system uses cameras and and accelerometers to tilt the vehicle up to 2.5 degrees. This is aimed to provide a more comfortable ride for passengers.
    The 2015 S-Class Coupe arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New S-Class Coupe
    An aesthetic, exclusive high-end coupe
    Stuttgart. Stylistically self-assured presence, exclusive appointments and refined sportiness – the new S-Class Coupe from Mercedes-Benz combines the classic proportions of a large, sporty coupe with modern luxury and state-of-the art technology. As a world premiere, the breathtaking two-door coupe includes a touchpad as standard and can be optionally equipped with a head-up display. Available expressive headlamps, each featuring 47 Swarovski crystals, produce a uniquely striking appearance.
    "As exclusive as it gets – the ultimate in aesthetic sportiness", stresses Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The breathtaking design of the Concept S-Class Coupe marked by sporty-classic proportions and sensual purity is transferred to
    the series-production S-Class Coupe virtually unaltered. The large coupe has always been the supreme pinnacle of our model range and that's why it's now called the 'S-Class' again."
    "The world premiere of the active curve tilting function demonstrates the possibilities offered by Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive," notes Prof Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG with responsibility for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. "The vehicle leans into bends much like a motorcyclist, thereby reducing the lateral acceleration acting on the vehicle's occupants. On country roads in particular, this means greater driving pleasure and ride comfort for our customers." The new S-Class Coupe will have its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 6 – 16, 2014) with U.S. dealer deliveries scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014. The two-door S550 Coupe will be available in the U.S. as a 4MATIC only with a 4.7L V8 biturbo engine. The S550 Coupe has an output of 449 hp and its torque level peaks at 516 lb-ft. The sporty driving experience is significantly enhanced by the emotional sound produced by the exhaust system.
    With the curve tilting function the Coupe introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The Coupe leans into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances driving enjoyment and comfort.
    Like the S-Class Sedan, the new Coupe is available with numerous new assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safer. The "Intelligent Drive" systems include, among other things the PRE-SAFE® brake with pedestrian detection, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive High-beam Assist and Night View Assist Plus. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS features an additional function apart from the adaptive brake assistant, which provides collision protection from a speed of 4 mph: if there remains a danger of collision and the driver fails to respond, the system can carry out an autonomous braking maneuver at speeds of up to 65 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to 25 mph.
    As in the sedan, the PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system has been expanded through the inclusion of PRE-SAFE® PLUS. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the parking brake on the vehicle stationary and thus minimize the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
    Numerous standard equipment features are available to make the interior of the S-Class Coupe exceptionally luxurious and comfortable. For example, the AIR-BALANCE package including the components "fragrancing" and "ionization" is available. Optional equipment includes an electric armrest heating as a component of the Warmth Comfort package.
    In cooperation with high-end audio specialists Burmester, two especially high- value audio systems have been developed: the Burmester® surround sound system and the Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system.
    Design: sensual purity at its most beguiling
    Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that showcase high tech while radiating emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism. These make up the guiding star, and are accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, and in the interests of keeping tradition alive, the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.
    "Our new S-Class Coupe is one of the most gorgeous coupes of all time, representing the most radical aesthetic departure from its predecessor," says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Daimler AG. "The sensuous flowing silhouette in interplay with the clear progressive design language forms a perfect symbiosis and expresses our philosophy of sensual purity with pithy precision."
    The exterior: flowing profile of perfect proportions
    The flowing profile of the S-Class Coupe embodies sensual purity in a modern way and is emphasized by the hallmark Mercedes dropping line. The long hood with pronounced lines and powerdomes, the low greenhouse with high beltline, the accentuated wheel arches as well as the large wheels (18- to 20-inch) and the broad visual effect created by the rear reinforce the S-Class Coupe's aspirations as a masterpiece of automotive refinement. With a wheelbase of 116 inches, the Coupe is 198 inches long, with a width of 75 inches and a height of 56 inches.
    Its convex and concave modeled surfaces lend the S-Class Coupe a sensuous character. The sculpted appearance lends it classic elegance that forms a perfect symbiosis with the modern-progressive design idiom.
    The view from the side is marked by the dropping line in keeping with the emotional character of the vehicle. It underscores the brand-typical proportions like a signature. The lines are deliberately reduced to the basics. This creates a sensual, timeless purity.
    The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the S-Class Coupe a superior, self-confident front: in the center of the vehicle front end is the further-evolved three-dimensional diamond radiator grille, whose structure is defined by rectangular, chrome-plated elements. It incorporates the central Mercedes three-pointed star and one louvre.
    The full-LED headlamps with their iconic eyebrows as daytime running lamps lend it an extremely self-assured and distinctive gaze. On the S-Class Coupe the eyebrows have been further refined with a semi-circular counter-curve. In combination with the standard LED Intelligent Light System, the Edition 1 S550 special edition vehicle will also feature unique headlamps with no less than 47 Swarovski crystals. 17 angular crystals form the flare-shaped daytime running lamps, with 30 round-shaped crystals making up the turn indicator lamps.
    The side profile is defined by the dome-shaped stretched roof line and the frameless doors. An elegant 3D continuous chrome frame surrounds the glass areas that are uninterrupted by B-pillars. This underscores the Mercedes- typical coupe look.
    A muscle above the rear axle extending from the side wall generates a sense of lightness and dynamic spirit even at a standstill. The positively arched surfaces and lines of the side walls flow into the rear end with a dramatic tapered effect.
    The rear end with its surfaces, broad shoulders and distinctive character lines rounds off the emotive overall appearance. Moving the license plate mounting to the lower part of the rear bumper is a particularly striking modification. It allows the trunk lid to be made especially sleek in this area. The three-pointed star is, so to say, free-standing and can thus be made more prominent for greater effect. In addition it pivots outwards in order to locate the rearview camera and the surround view camera in an elegantly functional manner.
    The arrangement of the LEDs in two horizontal rows in the two-piece tail lamps reveals cutting-edge technology and underscores the sporty character of the vehicle rear, careful attention to detail and the car's premium value. Form and function fuse into a perfect unity. Part of the light functions is located in the wings, the other in the trunk lid. This characteristic arrangement makes the vehicle highly recognizable by night, too.
    The two-part rear bumper underscores the sportiness indicated by the front design. The diffusor, painted in high-sheen black, meets in equal measure the requirements made by aerodynamics and by design. Below it there is, as in the front bumper, a horizontal wing in silver look. Integrated in the diffusor are the premium-quality tailpipes.
    The S-Class Coupe features a standard panorama roof extending over two- thirds of the entire vehicle roof; with a surface area of around 1.32 m2, it appears almost 150 percent larger than on the predecessor model. MAGIC SKY CONTROL makes it possible to switch the transparency of the roof at the push of a button, from light to dark. When light, the roof is almost completely transparent and allows an open-air experience, even in the coldest weather. When dark, light transmission i.e. the proportion of outside light that is allowed through into the interior, is reduced to less than 1% and thus effectively diminishes heating up of the vehicle. In addition, it is possible to shade the interior completely by means of a roller blind.
    The interior: modern luxury as avant-garde design
    The interior design of the new S-Class Coupe is an expression of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom – sensual purity. An enthralling combination of sculptural sensuous volume elements and components, and the clear geometry of its basic architecture create an avant-garde design idiom. A high class appeal, quality workmanship and exceptional touch and feel are a treat for the passengers' senses, so that the car's interior represents the highest level of "modern luxury".
    The S-Class Coupe's dashboard fascinates with its spectacular architecture, giving rise to a vehicle of unique character in the upper coupe segment. The dashboard is divided into a very clear top-layer section with an expansive "wrap-around" effect extending to the doors, and an extremely low, sculptural "floating" lower section. This striking architecture was made possible by repositioning the airbag to a completely new low location. This concept enables the large, two-part wide-screen format TFT display to be placed in a prominent "hovering" position in front of this trim surface. In addition, it is stylishly highlighted with an ambience lighting corona. Under the display, the sporty elevated center console extends to the vehicle rear. All lids and armrests are lavishly covered in leather.
    The use of the finest materials, surfaces, color combinations and seam designs contributes towards achieving a truly exclusive car interior. Air vents, switches, belt extender rosette and trim elements are in electroplated "Silver Shadow". This gives the trim elements a particularly high value appeal and enhances the three-dimensional effect of their surfaces.
    In front of the armrest the standard touchpad can be found, with its black high- sheen surface and chrome-look surround. As on a smartphone, the touchpad allows all the head-unit functions to be operated using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting - in any of the head unit's languages. Diverse controls, e.g. for the multi-media system, are arrayed as keys in a semicircle in front of the central control element.
    Both the front and the rear seats have a pronounced sporty character, the two rear seats are designed as individual seats. The Exclusive upholsteries optionally includes seats in Exclusive nappa designo leather with a striking diamond backstitching pattern on backrests and seating surfaces. The front- seat seatbelts are integrated in the rear side panelling without interrupting the waistline with windows open; seatbelt extenders make them easily accessible for the seat occupants.
    There is a fluid transition between the doors and the rear side panelling, emphasizing the vehicle's well-being quality. Here too, surfaces and controls are masterfully executed in top-quality materials; the configuration with the standard Burmester® surround sound system and the optional Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system offers a special highlight in form and function.
    New interior colors such as Bengal red, saddle brown and porcelain allow individualization of the interior. The standard ambient lighting with several lighting moods provides the corresponding wellness character. The customer can choose from seven lighting moods.
    Less distraction: head-up display
    The optional head-up display brings important information directly into the driver's field of vision, presenting it on the windscreen to ensure less distraction from the traffic situation. The system informs about vehicle speed, navigation instructions and driving assistance system messages.
    The technical basis for this system is a specular optics system and a full-color display module with a resolution of 480 x 240 pixels, operating with high-power LEDs. They project the virtual image, which measures around 8 x 3 inches, into the driver's field of vision where it appears to float around two meters away above the hood. The resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree of viewing angle ensures a needle-sharp image. A special light sensor located near the top edge of the roof automatically adjusts the brightness of the head-up display to the exterior lighting conditions.
    Lower transversal forces: active curve tilting function
    With the curve tilting function the Coupe introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The curve tilting function makes the Coupe lean into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort. The object is not to reach higher speeds, but to produce a more pleasant motoring experience.
    With Active Body Control the suspension struts are equipped with hydraulic cylinders (so-called plungers), in order to adjust the force in each strut individually. Depending on the curve driven, the curve tilting function shifts the base point of each individual strut. This allows the vehicle to incline automatically and continuously in fractions of a second and to angles of up to 2.5 degrees in curves – depending on the road angle and vehicle speed. The innovative suspension system detects curves using both a stereo camera behind the windscreen, registering the curvature of the road up to 49 feet ahead, and an additional transversal acceleration sensor. The curve tilting function can be selected as one of three drive modes using the ABC switch; it is active in the speed range from 19 to 112 mph.
    Emotive-sporty sound: exhaust system with flaps
    The emotive sound of the exhaust system makes a decisive contribution to the sporty driving experience. The deeper sound components ensure a fuller, sportier sound. In the transversally positioned rear silencer of the twin-pipe exhaust system there are two flaps that can be opened and closed pneumatically depending on the engine speed.
    When the flaps are open the exhaust gases are conducted through the rear silencer along a different path so that the vehicle sound becomes more powerful. The switching point of the flaps depends upon the drive program selected – in the S program the flaps open earlier than in the E program. As soon as the S-Class Coupe engine starts, the power of its sound can be heard.
    A long tradition: large coupes from Mercedes-Benz
    The history of the large post-war Mercedes coupes dates back to the year 1952, when Mercedes-Benz launched the legendary 300 S Coupe - a "car for the world's elite" as the automotive press of the time judged. It was followed in 1956 by the 220 S Coupe of model series W 180, which created a sensation in particular due to its self-supporting pontoon body. From 1961 to 1971 the long-drawn out elegant Coupe of model series W111/W112 enthralled no less than 29,918 highly discerning customers, who were able to choose between the Type 220 SEb Coupe six-cylinder models and the Type 280 SE 3.5 Coupe eight-cylinder models.
    The SEC coupes of model series C 126, which remained in the program of the Stuttgart-based automotive brand for ten years and of which over 74,000 were sold, were based on the S-Class of 1981. In 1992 the successor model (model series C 140) was presented at the Geneva Motor Show, also featuring for the first time as a S600 Coupe with a 389 hp twelve-cylinder engine. It was to be the car in which the Electronic Stability Program ESP® had its world premiere in 1995. Later on this coupe was renamed "CL-Class". Another forefather of the new S-Class Coupe celebrated its world première under this name in March 1999. With pioneering innovations such as active ABC suspension (Active Body Control) and bi-xenon headlamps this two-door car set new standards.
    Supreme exclusivity and sophisticated design combined with trend-setting state-of-the-art technology were combined in the last CL-Class (2006). This luxury coupe opened up a new dimension of vehicle safety with the introduction of the PRE-SAFE® brake. Beyond this, Mercedes innovations such as the Intelligent Light System with five light functions and PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant safety were also part of the vehicle's standard equipment.
    The new S-Class Coupe and its innovations seamlessly continue the tradition of large coupes into the future and will launch in the U.S. this fall with the S550 4MATIC.

    William Maley

    Another GTE Concept from Volkswagen, This Time In A Four-Door Coupe Guise

    Volkswagen comes to Geneva with a concept that not only slips in between the Passat and Phaeton, but one that gives a sneak peek into a future design language.
    The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is larger than the current CC in every dimension except in height. The front end has a new grille design and headlights with LEDs. Around back is styling similar to the Audi A7 with a liftback and low stance. Inside is seating for four passengers, along with large display screens for front and rear seat passengers.
    Power comes from plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a turbocharged 3.0L V6 and two electric motors to produce a total output of 374 horsepower. Volkswagen says the powertrain can hit 60 MPH in 5 seconds and return 118 MPG on the European cycle.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2
    SPORT COUPÉ CONCEPT GTE MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    Four-door coupé marks beginning of a new design era at Volkswagen

    Wolfsburg/Geneva, March 2015 —Volkswagen will debut the Sport Coupé Concept GTE at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, heralding a new and progressive Volkswagen design language. “Evolution and revolution come together in the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. This concept is based on Volkswagen design DNA, which has been visibly sharpened even more. It shows how the highest-volume brand of our Group is shaping the immediate future,” says Walter de Silva, Head of Design of Volkswagen AG.
    Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development, elaborates: “This breathtakingly dynamic coupé is unlike any other to appear in this class. The design of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is an impressive alternative to the classic sedans of the B and C segments—it has the style of a sport coupé that is enriched by the functionality of a large hatchback and the interior space of a sedan.” Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand, adds: “The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is another milestone of expressive design. With this concept car, Volkswagen is not only showing a new model’s design, but also initial glimpses of a new design era.”
    The interior of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is as innovative as its exterior. It features extremely clean design, matchless ergonomics and new interactive interfaces between human and machine—including the use of the driver's bio-metric data and a new Active Info Display that has a 3D appearance. The upshot is an avant-garde interior ambiance that is in complete harmony with its expressive exterior design.
    Under the skin, the car is also very innovative. The GTE designation promises a plug-in hybrid drive system and that’s what this concept delivers. Volkswagen’s regular GTE models can be driven approximately 32 miles in all-electric mode and yet they can cover very long distances with confidence. GTE versions are conceivable in all vehicle classes, as demonstrated with the Cross Coupe GTE SUV concept vehicle that was shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The Sport Coupé Concept GTE adds a new facet to its GTE philosophy. The 374-horsepower (279 kW) GTE fastback delivers the long-distance properties of a Gran Turismo while simultaneously enabling zero-emission driving, thanks to its two electric motors and externally chargeable battery. The concept car has a top speed of 155 mph and has an impressive EC average combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg.
    Volkswagen differentiates between the B, C and D segments in the mid-size and premium classes. The latest Passat, for example, is setting standards in the high-volume section of the B segment; the Volkswagen CC is positioned in the upper B segment; and the Phaeton, as a premium sedan, is in the D segment. The Sport Coupé Concept is breaking out of its current segment and into the C segment. Klaus Bischoff: “Internally, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is a car that we position above today's Volkswagen CC. We are enriching this segment with a premium design which is as exclusive as it is dynamic, and which casts the term avant-garde in a new light.”
    Exterior design.
    The concept car is underpinned again by Volkswagen’s modular transverse matrix (MQB), which allows for great packaging and proportions. The most important dimension for the design of a car is the ratio of the exterior length to the wheelbase. The concept car is 191.7 inches long with an incredibly long wheelbase of 118.9 inches, creating an interior that is 73.7 inches long, as well as short body overhangs: 35.8 inches at the front and 44.1 inches at the back. Its low height (55.4 inches), impressive width (73.4 inches) and large 21-inch wheels give the car a spectacular stance. Yet, because of the MQB packaging, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE also offers excellent front and rear headroom and a 17.0 cubic foot trunk.
    Front end. The radiator grille, headlights and VW badge merge into a completely new interpretation of the Volkswagen front end. The designers specifically emphasized three-dimensionality. Towards its outer edges, the radiator grille borders the LED dual headlights that are framed by an aluminum radiator grille crosspiece, whose ends take an upward turn, like the winglets of a modern jet airplane. This shape is repeated on the exterior and in the interior, running as a common thread throughout the vehicle's design.
    The uppermost radiator grille crosspiece frames the inner LED modules (high beams and Daytime Running Lights); the second crosspiece wraps around the outer LED modules (low beams and DRLs). The winglets also function as DRLs thanks to integrated bands of LEDs and as turn signals by alternating the LED color at the top ends of the bands. The Sport Coupé Concept GTE‘s DRL signature is completed by the C-shaped LEDs arranged around the lower air intakes (an identifying characteristic of electric and plug-in hybrid mo­dels from Volkswagen).
    Beneath the two upper radiator grille crosspieces, there are four additional bars. Each trim piece is narrower than the one above it, and together they form a wide "V" that is framed by body-colored area of the bumper.
    Silhouette. The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is a coupé with four doors and a hatchback. This approach led to a design that emphasises long, extended lines, a low overall height and an athletic body form. The car's silhouette is uncompromised: the roofline assumes the shape of a flattened curve extending from the A-pillar—set far back for a long hood—to the rear body. The extremely low-set C-pillar, which develops seamlessly from the roofline, dominates the back end of the car. Air vents in the front fenders and hood have chrome elements that mimic the stylistic theme of the winglets around the headlights.
    The precision of the car’s design is illustrated by two elements of the car's silhouette. First, the lower window line, which looks as though it were carved into the body, is continued as a sharp edge into the front fenders. Second, the character line that runs below the window sill is the most important line on the vehicle. At the rear, it is designed as what is known as an undercut. Here, the character line is drawn slightly outward to emphasize the strong shoulder section and generate a light-refracting edge. This undercut reduces gradually as it runs towards the front of the car, where the character line extends into the front wheelarch.
    Rear section. The roofline, including the C-pillars, transitions directly into the vertical surface of the rear section, just like a classical sports car’s. The rear spoiler visually lengthens the car; laterally, the spoiler’s lower edge is continued above the taillights and directly into the character line. The roof section has a lot of tumblehome from front to rear, creating space for a muscular shoulder section, which in turn transitions into the powerfully flared wheelarches.
    Like the headlights, the LED taillights are designed to have a 3D appearance, with a light signature that apes the winglets at the front. On each side of the vehicle, the basic lighting unit consists of two glossy black elements, in which the brake light, turn signal, and rear light LEDs have been integrated. At night, the black background surfaces are not visible, which makes the illuminated LED elements appear to hover, creating an unmistakable light signature.
    Interior design
    The new interfaces in the Sport Coupé Concept GTE are appealing to the eye as well as being a high-tech tour de force. The instrument cluster is a prototype of a newly conceptualised Active Info Display with 3D graphics. The display has a 12.3-inch diagonal and was designed in such a way that the virtual space blends into the real border of the instrument cluster, via a patented ambient light effect, thus creating a free-form surface. In its basic configuration, the digital display depicts two round instruments; a power meter on the left and a speedometer on the right with a field between them for all sorts of information. The new free-form surface makes the round instruments appear to hover in virtual space. The graphics of the displays change according to the driving mode (E-mode or GTE mode).
    The central infotainment system’s touchscreen has a 10.1 inch diagonal; the area alongside this screen also features touch-sensitive slider controls for the HVAC. The rear seating area has a 12.3-inch touchscreen that serves as the media control module and is integrated between the individual seats. It can be used to operate functions that include the media library, telephone and navigation. Rear passengers can also control the two 10.1-inch screens embedded in the backrests of the front seats via this media control unit. In addition, the slider controls integrated alongside the 12.3-inch display can be used to operate the automatic climate control system, for a four-zone system.
    For the first time, Volkswagen is interfacing the car's electronics directly with the driver. Based on the driver's biometric data, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE determines, via a smartwatch or armband for measuring the driver's vital functions, whether to select a route that includes an exciting country road or a gentle route instead.
    Monitoring of biometric data begins as soon as the driver inputs the destination by voice or on the touchscreen—but only if the driver wants the data stored in the device to be used as input for the navigation system. Time and distance are secondary factors here. In this navigation mode, which is individually tailored to the driver, the sole purpose is to experience maximum driving enjoyment.
    The navigation system recommends routes that are displayed in lists or via Cover Flow; in this case, apps such as Instagram are used to show additional information and images of the individual routes. The driver can view the selected route in the infotainment system before heading out. Simultaneously, the driver gets detailed information on the type of route and on the traffic, weather and road conditions along the route.
    To get the most precise real-time information, the system evaluates car-to-car data from other vehicles that are already driving the same route ahead of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. At the same time, the system compares route conditions to the vehicle’s status, such as remaining battery charge.
    Ambience. One unique feature inside the car is the way the line from the dash panel and door shoulders appears to wrap around the four passengers like a cocoon. The dash panel, designed with horizontal elements and leather-trimmed at the top, uniformly transitions into the front door trim panels and then into the rear doors. The dash panel itself is designed to be straightforward, clean and minimalistic. In the upper area, three slender and elegant aluminum slots function as vents, with a slender piano-black accent and another aluminum vent beneath them that spans the entire width of the dash panel.
    The center console rises towards the dash panel where it meets the infotainment system, just like a sports car. Here too, elegant gloss-black and thin aluminum surrounds are dominant styling elements. Forming a contrast to this, beneath the "hovering" design of the console, there’s a layer that looks like natural wood. The same material is found on the door panels and on the steering wheel. Among the practical details are cupholders that can warm or cool the drinks placed in them. The 6-speed DSG has shift-by-wire logic and stays in a central position, like a joystick. The R, N and D selections are activated by a flick of the wrist, while P is set by pushing a separate button that is integrated in the shift lever.
    Drive system
    The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is powered by a plug-in hybrid drive system that is both economical and sporty. The concept car uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre TSI V6 direct-injection engine that produces 295 horsepower (220 kW) and maximum torque of 369 pound feet. The electrical components consist of a lithium-ion battery that’s housed in the center tunnel and two electric motors. The 54-hp (40 kW0 front motor is integrated in the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and the rear electric motor develops 114 hp (85 kW). The total available system power is 374 hp (279 kW).
    If necessary, the system’s power can be distributed to all four wheels thanks to the rear electric motor and an "electric driveshaft". In the sporty GTE mode, the 155 mph coupé accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 5.0 seconds. Despite this dynamic performance, the concept car has an EC combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg. In addition, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE can be driven all-electrically, with zero emissions, for a distance of at least 32 miles. The total driving range on one tank of gasoline is more than 745 miles.
    Hybrid. The concept car starts in Hybrid Mode by default. The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is then a classical full hybrid that charges the battery via regenerative braking and automatically uses the V6 engine and/or the electric motor depending on the drive situation. In this mode, the battery state of charge is kept constant; the driver can actively influence this by using the battery hold function.
    Coasting: As soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the accelerator and the battery is sufficiently charged, the gasoline engine and electric motors are shut down and disengaged from the drivetrain.
    Recuperation Mode: If the driver removes his or her foot from the accelerator or brakes when the battery is not sufficiently charged, both electric motors work as generators and feed the energy generated during braking to the lithium-ion battery. In this case, too, the V6 engine is shut down and disengaged.
    Driving with the V6 engine: When the gasoline engine alone is powering the vehicle, the concept car is purely front-wheel drive to achieve excellent fuel economy.

    "E-Mode". In E-mode, which the driver activates by button push, only the 114-hp electric motor at the rear axle provides propulsive power. In all-electric driving, the V6 TSI is decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch, and it is shut off. As soon as the six-cylinder engine needs to be used again—due to the battery's charge state or other parameters—it is coupled to the drivetrain again within fractions of a second without any jolts. The lithium-ion battery, which has a capacity of 10.7 kWh, is responsible for supplying energy to the electric motors.
    GTE. The driver uses the GTE button to switch to the most dynamic side of the vehicle. This makes the throttle, transmission and steering characteristics even sportier. In addition, the V6 engine and the electric motors work together to deliver the full system output and the maximum system torque.
    Battery Charge/Battery Hold. The dual-mode Battery Hold (energy content of the battery stays constant) and Battery Charge (battery is charged whilst driving) is activated via a sub-menu in the infotainment system. It serves to hold the vehicle in E-Mode, for example, when the driver knows they are about to enter an urban area.
    “Electric driveshaft” all-wheel-drive system. All four wheels are powered as soon as the system detects it is needed. In this case (and when the battery charge is low), the front electric motor is employed exclusively as a generator that is driven by the gasoline engine in order to provide the power for its counterpart at the rear axle. As the power to drive the rear axle flows electronically, the all-wheel-drive system is referred to as an “electric driveshaft”. Since the V6 engine drives the rear electric motor via the front motor, all-wheel drive is available even when the battery has a low state of charge and the car is running as a plug-in-hybrid.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    Once upon a time, the only luxury SUV you could get your hands on was the Range Rover. Now, it seems every luxury automaker aside from a few, offer an SUV.
    Now, Bentley is showing their new SUV. Called the EXP 9 F (No, that isn't the license plate on the car), this concept previews what could be the third vehicle in Bentley's lineup.
    Design is well... um.. unique. The front end borrows many cues from the Continental and Mulsanne. The side borrowed the doors off a Range Rover and the back end seems to be a blend of Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.
    Inside the EXP 9 F is what you would expect of a car from Crewe. The wood trim lining the doors and dash comes from a whole forest. Everything else is either trimmed in leather, chrome, and aluminum. The EXP 9 F also comes with a full picnic set, wedged in the back.
    Along with the old world luxury, Bentley has fitted a lot tech into this concept. The front gets a TFT gauge-cluster screen, touch-sensitive center-stack controls, and motorized widescreen infotainment display. Back seat passengers get power-reclining seats, power footrests, and a cooled compartment. Plus, the EXP 9 F has internet connectivity.
    Power comes from a 6.0L W-12 and goes through an eight-speed automatic. Bentley says the engine is producing somewhere around 600 HP. However, a hybrid powertrain and Bentley's new 4.0L twin-turbo V8 could also fit in the vehicle.
    Bentley says a decision on whether to build the EXP 9 F will depend on reaction from their customers. Our guess, expect to see a Bentley SUV sometime in the next few years.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    BENTLEY REVEALS EXP 9 F – A PINNACLE LUXURY PERFORMANCE SUV DESIGN CONCEPT


    EXP 9 F all-wheel drive luxury Sport Utility Vehicle concept revealed at Geneva Motor Show
    Potential for third Bentley model-line alongside Mulsanne and Continental ranges
    Bold reinterpretation of Bentley design cues in a spacious, versatile and high performance SUV
    A fusion of contemporary, crafted luxury, advanced in-car technology, commanding driving position and all-terrain capability
    6.0 litre, twin turbocharged W12 engine and 8 speed transmission

    (Geneva, 5 March 2012) Bentley is offering a vision of the future with a dramatic new Sport Utility Vehicle concept, EXP 9 F, at the Geneva International Salon d’Auto. The Company’s designers and engineers have created a compelling new take on the Grand Touring Bentley - a vehicle that feels equally at home at an opera gala performance, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn.
    Unmistakably a Bentley – yet a Bentley like none before it – the EXP 9 F could herald a third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high performance Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur.
    Today a global luxury brand with a network of 160 dealers from Shanghai to Beverly Hills, Bentley has an increasingly diverse customer base spanning every continent. For many customers, a dramatically styled, Bentley all-wheel drive SUV which combines a spacious, versatile cabin and commanding driving position, with Bentley’s hallmark power, performance, advanced technology and hand crafted luxury, would be a natural choice both on and off-road.
    “We are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. We know that many Bentley customers already own SUVs, admiring their style, luxury, performance and versatility. With EXP 9 F, Bentley is making a clear statement of intent that we have both the expertise and desire to meet and exceed their expectations.” Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
    BOLD, DYNAMIC, SPORTY DESIGN
    Key Bentley styling cues re-interpreted for EXP 9 F with innovative detailing
    Sculptured flowing surfaces emphasise power, muscularity and robustness

    From a designer’s perspective, EXP 9 F was a dream project, the chance to create a completely new type of Bentley. From the very beginning, the design team had a clear vision for the new Bentley SUV, as Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design, explains:
    “EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle. The style had to reflect Bentley’s sporting character despite its radically different package and purpose together with sculptured, flowing surfaces in keeping with the Bentley tradition.”
    A new class of Bentley allowed the styling team to adopt a more progressive design approach. The exterior is a bold, dynamic statement, combining clean, muscular surfaces with signature character lines, while retaining the qualities of luxury and power – a pure Bentley.
    Key Bentley cues such as the matrix grille, round lamps and the strong power-line and haunch along each flank are reinterpreted for EXP 9 F. The ‘hewn from solid’ design language and innovative detailing, emphasise the robust character of this high-luxury SUV.
    The designers were inspired not only by the more functional nature of EXP 9 F but by the ‘visible engineering’ of the famous Blower Bentleys. For example, the day-time running lamp apertures also act as the charge cooler air intakes for the twin-turbo W12 engine, each with a dramatic, mesh-covered turbine fan design and ‘rifled’ inner surface finish.
    The turbine theme continues with the stunning 23-inch alloy wheels, the design of which complements the sculptured coachwork. The multiple spokes are reminiscent of the shape of turbine fan blades while the centrally mounted wheel nut is a visual reference both to Bentley’s Le Mans racers of the 1920s with centre-lock spinner and to the single nut found on the modern-day Speed 8’s high-tech racing alloys.
    At the rear, the swooping lines of the tailgate avoid utilitarian overtones in favour of a distinctly sporting profile, while the ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate offers a high level of versatility when grand touring. The bold design language of EXP 9 F is complemented by twin exhaust tailpipes with ‘rifled’ inner surfaces, their elliptical shapes echoing those of the rear light clusters.
    The rear lights are inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines, uniquely designed so that they glow from within, spreading their light outwards.
    INTERIOR – A FUSION OF LUXURY WITH UTILITY
    Light, airy, contemporary cabin design with exquisite British ‘sporting’ luxury craft detailing
    Contemporary use of touchscreen and tailored interface technologies
    Fresh interpretation of traditional handcrafted materials with highly durable surfaces
    High degree of practicality including versatile rear cabin layout and full-width, two-piece tailgate

    Bentley is renowned for its fusion of extremes – technology and craftsmanship, luxury and performance – and the interior of EXP 9 F expresses the resolution of apparent opposites in its use of materials, techniques and technology, as Dirk van Braeckel explains:
    “The challenge for the interior design team was to create a cabin which provides a blend of luxury and utility. The result is a light and airy environment with a commanding view of the road and a versatile layout which showcases Bentley’s craft and design language in an innovative and contemporary way.”
    Traditional handcrafted elements such as wood, leather and polished metals such as aluminium, bronze and gunmetal are used to create a sense of British luxury, yet the way they are used sets a fresh and contemporary interior ambience. Soft-touch leather contrasts with highly durable surfaces with the concept car design experimenting with the use of saddle leather for the seat backs, top roll and loadspace – while analogue bezels and dials are paired with TFT ‘virtual’ instrumentation.
    Even the luxurious silk wool floormats are reversible – with one side finished in durable, ribbed saddle leather for use when the driver and passengers are dressed for the great outdoors.
    The upright dashboard design features a full-width, one-piece wood veneer with a subtly negative surface and instruments with a configurable display. Traditional Bentley ‘bulls eye’ vents have a ‘rifled’ gunmetal inner surface for a more contemporary and functional appearance. The centre console is a blend of functionality and supreme ergonomics with dynamic, architectural layers which help to create a central spine to the cabin. The frame of the console is also a structural component with integrated, sculpted grab handles.
    The flowing roof design with a panoramic glass panel is inspired by the roll cages of rally cars, expressing both strength and lightness.
    Rear seat passengers can chose between business mode, with generous legroom complete with fold-down keyboard and full internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet or a more reclined position with powered footrest, drinks table and an infotainment screen for movies. When the rear seats are not in use, they can be powered forward to create a larger loadspace for sports equipment or luggage.
    The EXP 9 F seating is 4+1, with a rear armrest lifting to reveal a cooled compartment for champagne and glasses. Seats feature a diamond-quilted ‘shoulder line’ in soft-touch leather, echoing the traditional appearance of a British field sport jacket.
    At the rear, the lower section of the two-piece tailgate may be used as a viewing bench or picnic table. Bespoke picnic hampers are stowed neatly to either side of the loadspace when not in use, but are located on rails for easy access. An awning extends over the tailgate to protect those seated there; two umbrellas fit either side of the rear luggage area for when the rain clouds sweep in.
    COMMANDING DRIVING POSITION AND CONTROL ARCHITECTURE
    Inspired blend of traditional analogue and TFT touchscreen technology
    Bespoke interface engineering – tailored to the individual with driver-selectable instrumentation modes

    As befits a Bentley, the EXP 9 F design concept features a near-infinite choice of driver information and entertainment options. However the design and electrical engineering teams sought to avoid creating a cluttered or confusing driver and passenger environment, presenting only the information that each user needs, when they need it.
    As a result, EXP 9 F places key driver information such as 3D navigation in a central TFT panel directly in the driver’s line of sight, where it is flanked by two analogue reverse-read dials. Meanwhile controls that are shared between driver and front seat passenger, such as cabin temperature, air vents and entertainment are presented in the central touchscreen and console. The TFT screen deploys from the full-width metal trim to provide a fully integrated extension to the glass surface of the centre console
    Three different driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Off-Road – are selectable according to the road environment and type of journey. Thus the driver information TFT panel would be able to switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a ‘sump cam’ when negotiating a bumpy track.
    BENTLEY POWER AND PERFORMANCE
    Although the EXP 9 F concept is based around the Bentley 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an 8-speed transmission, both the company’s recently-launched 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements of a pinnacle luxury SUV.
    Whilst EXP 9 F is primarily intended to investigate new design territory – and all drivetrain options remain under consideration – any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance the marque is renowned for. The W12 6.0 litre powertrain, for example, could develop 600bhp and 800 Nm of torque with key performance indicators like the top speed and 0-60mph sprint time all setting new benchmarks for the SUV sector.
    EVALUATION, REFINEMENT AND FUTURE PLANNING
    When the first generation Continental GT was unveiled in 2003 it represented the renaissance of Bentley as a global luxury icon, subsequent launches such as Mulsanne, Continental Flying Spur saloon and the new Continental GT have seen the Bentley brand growing from strength to strength.
    EXP 9 F represents the chance to take Bentley values of design, craftsmanship and engineering excellence into what would be – literally – new terrain for the brand. Bentley’s experience with the all-wheel drive Continental range makes the concept of a Bentley SUV a natural progression for the company.
    Customer and public reaction will be analysed following the unveiling of EXP 9 F at Geneva 2012, with the aim of refining the concept further. Above all, Bentley will be listening carefully to the reaction of customers and potential customers throughout the world, prior to making any definitive commitment to production.
    “A Bentley Grand Tourer doesn’t necessarily have to be a coupé, a convertible or a saloon – it could equally well be an SUV. What’s important is that it should be true to Bentley’s brand values and in line with the desires and needs of our customers.” – Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing.

    William Maley

    The iconic Pullman makes a return to Mercedes

    The preferred vehicle of leaders and villains is making a return to Mercedes. The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman will be shown at Geneva Motor Show next month, and be the second model in the Mercedes-Maybach lineup.
    The Pullman keeps the same styling cues as the standard Maybach S600, but adds more length and height. Overall, the Pullman measures out to 255.9 inches (41.2 inches longer than the standard S-Class) and rides on a wheelbase of 173.9 inches. Overall height increases 3.9 inches.
    All of that space goes towards the back seat which offers seating for four passengers or two passengers with lounge-like seating. The interior is swathed in leather and features electrically opaqueing glass partitions, three analog gauges, and a Burmester sound system. Of course, the Pullman will offer an "unrivalled scope for individualization" the company says.
    "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," said Ola Källenius, member of Diamler AG's board. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."
    Power comes from Mercedes' twin-turbo 6.0L V12 with 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.
    Mercedes says the Pullman will go on sale in Europe next year. Sales for North America are still being decided on.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The New Mercedes-Maybach Pullman
    High-end luxury-class motor vehicle with a proud pedigree

    February 17, 2015 - Stuttgart/Geneva
    The 50th birthday of the best-known Pullman sedan of them all, the Mercedes-Benz 600, is set to coincide with a special debut at the Geneva Motor Show: the launch of the new Pullman. Mercedes-Maybach's second model will assume the top-of-the-range position, with vis-à-vis seating in the passenger compartment and high-end automotive luxury that is traditionally associated with Maybach.
    Its length of 21.3 feet (6.50 meters) alone is a sign of the special status of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman. It provides space for a generously-sized and tastefully-appointed club lounge in the rear, which has a multitude of creature comforts fitted as standard. This chauffeur-driven limousine is more than equal to today's demands for the ultimate in exclusivity and luxury. The VIP occupants sit on two standard-specification executive seats facing the direction of travel. They can enjoy the greatest legroom in the segment; and can get into and out of the car with the greatest of ease and comfort. As is typical for a Pullman, the four passengers can sit facing each other in the compartment with an electrically-operated partition window. The prices for unarmoured models start at around half a million euros (as of mid-February 2015, EURO 500,000 = USD $566,922); the first customers will be taking delivery of their vehicles, which of course offer unrivalled scope for individualization, at the beginning of 2016 (this model is TBD for the U.S. market).
    Many governments, rulers and royal families around the world have for decades chosen Mercedes-Benz sedans with the designation "Pullman" to drive them with the stateliness and style befitting their status. With its new model, the company is now extending its unique position in this demanding segment: "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," commented Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Management Board responsible for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."
    The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman provides extremely spacious seating combined with unique features characterized by their extraordinary and perfect craftsmanship. It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualize the appointments of their top-class limousines. The exquisite Maybach paint finishes, which are applied in several layers, count as part of this specification.
    With a length of 21.3 feet (6499 mm), the Pullman is another 3.5 feet (1053 mm) longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The wheelbase is an impressive 14.5 feet (4418 mm). Furthermore, at 5.2 feet (1598 mm) in height, the Pullman is more than 3.9 inches (10 cm or 100 mm) higher than a Mercedes S-Class, resulting in a tangible increase in headroom.
    The absolute top-of-the-range model is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S 600. Its V12 biturbo engine has an output of 390 kW (523 U.S. SAE hp). With displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 612 lb-ft (830 Nm) is available from 1900 rpm.
    The name Pullman was originally applied to railway carriages with luxurious open-plan compartments manufactured by the American Pullman Palace Car Company. This name was soon also applied to the motor cars from Mercedes-Benz which were based on an extremely long wheelbase and offered a very generously-sized passenger compartment. In the rear, separated from the driver's area by a partition, there was space for four passengers to recline regally in four single seats facing each other.
    Extremely spacious seating in the rear, entire vehicle interior is leather-clad
    As its name suggests, the four seats in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman are arranged vis-à-vis. The owner and VIP guests are seated in the direction of travel on two executive seats which are part of the standard specification; other passengers can sit on the fold-down seats facing backwards. If specifically requested, the Pullman can also be delivered in an exclusive version without the additional seats.
    The executive seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to their special adjustment kinematics. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, with inclination and horizontal adjustment combined. For the executive seats, the maximum backrest angle is 43.5 degrees. The most upright backrest position of 19 degrees allows relaxed working in the rear. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The luxury head restraints come with an extra cushion as standard. The two first-class travellers in the rear have the greatest amount of legroom of any car in the segment, as well as 2.4 inches (60 millimeters) more headroom than in a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
    There is one design difference compared with the existing Pullman model: in the new model, all seats are easy to get to. This improvement was achieved thanks to the large rear doors and the position of the passengers on the executive seats, which is even further to the rear. A real boost in comfort for those heads of state and monarchs for whom protocol dictates that they must take their places ahead of their interpreters. This seating arrangement also preserves their privacy, as a large proportion of their bodies is hidden by the rear roof pillar.
    The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is upholstered in leather throughout as standard. Not only is the roof liner upholstered in high-quality leather, but also the door frames and seat consoles. As one would expect of a Maybach, there are three analog instruments in the roof liner informing passengers in the rear of the outside temperature, speed and time.
    The partition wall between the rear and the driver's area ensures discretion. The glass partition wall can be lowered electrically. It can also change from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. This allows – in combination with the equally standard-specification curtains for the rear windows – for different levels of privacy. The standard-fit 16:9 format 18.5 inch (47 cm) monitor located in front of the partition can also be extended electrically.
    Those who demand uncompromising quality of sound and appreciate perfect music reproduction can choose between two innovative Burmester sound systems. The existing Burmester surround sound system delivers the legendary and unmistakeable magical sound for which the high-end audio specialist from Berlin is famous. But as an option par excellence, the Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound System provides matchless listening pleasure and outstanding sound quality.
    It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualise the appointments of their top-class limousines. The key account managers in the exclusive Maybach centres throughout Europe as well as the sales advisors in the Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets are happy to provide further information on this.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    Take a Rolls-Royce Ghost, cut a good size chunk out of it, place a fastback roof on it, and give it two doors. What do you have? You have the new Rolls-Royce Wraith.
    The Wraith is Rolls-Royce's most dynamic vehicle ever built and has the specs to prove it. Under the hood is a V12 engine that produce over 600 horsepower. That power is routed to a eight-speed ZF transmission to the rear wheels.
    The Wraith's shape blends the Ghost's front end with a fastback rear. Other design cues to take note are 20-inch alloy wheels, recessed grille, and new front air dam.
    We'll have more information and pictures when Rolls-Royce unveils the Wraith later this week.
    UPDATE: Make that later tonight. Rolls-Royce has let loose more information and pictures of the Wraith and wow, its a stunner.
    While the Wraith is based on the Ghost, its actually rides on shorter platform and is about 0.9-inch wider rear track.
    Power is a V12 producing 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet. 0-60 takes 4.6 seconds and reaches 155 MPH (electronically limited). Very impressive numbers once you take into account the Wraith tips the scales at 5,200 pounds.
    The Wraith's interior promises many luxuries such as a few cows worth of leather, and options like option of Canadel Panelling on the doors and other surfaces (specially treated wood veneer) and Starlight headliner which uses small fiber-optic lights in the roof upholstery to simulate a night sky.
    The Wraith also features a lot of tech, the most notable being the Satellite Aided Transmission system. The system uses GPS-based knowledge of the road to select the appropriate gear. Other tech goodies include a new rotary controller/touchpad infotainment interface, large, 0.25-inch display, and adaptive cruise control.
    The Rolls-Royce Wraith arrives this winter.
    Source: Rolls-Royce

    Album: Rolls-Royce Wraith
    10 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    WORLD DEBUT FOR ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

    Elegant fastback design hints at dynamic prowess of the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever: 624 bhp/465 kW, 800 Nm from 1,500 rpm : 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds (0-62 in 4.6)
    Debut of Satellite Aided Transmission. A technology that uses GPS mapping data to ensure the correct gear is always pre-selected for the road terrain ahead
    Voice activated connectivity augments effortlessness – the ‘on-board valet’
    Canadel Panelling sweeps through a sumptuous, contemporary and yacht-like interior cabin

    Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. At its heart lie hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but the new model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque also presents a unique character defined by power, style and drama. With just a hint of the noir.
    “Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.”
    Rolls-Royce Chairman and BMW Group board member Harald Krüger added the following: “The BMW Group today reconfirms its full commitment to the future of Rolls-Royce. Growth and a prosperous future lie ahead thanks to continued investment, careful brand stewardship and the launch of groundbreaking new models like Rolls-Royce Wraith, a magnificent addition to the product range.”
    In profile, Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation.
    Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth.
    The interior ambiance is complemented by Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature available beyond Phantom family cars for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
    Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp / 465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp / 420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost.
    From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780 Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. The car’s suspension has also been tuned to minimise body roll and discreetly amplify feedback when cornering; while steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds adding to the spirited drive.
    However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand.
    Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.
    A more polished, effortless driving experience and even better response brings a new, more dynamic dimension to the famous Rolls-Royce trait, waftability.
    For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has featured technologies designed to support occupants discreetly, delivering a peerless driving experience epitomised by the term ‘effortlessness’. In every Rolls-Royce these assist the driver when called upon, but are prepared to return without fuss to the background when no longer required.
    Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraith’s keyless opening boot. But improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet.
    Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command such as “navigate to Piccadilly in London.”
    Additional improvements in communications come in the design and functionality of the elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. This allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen.
    In Europe, Wraith will be priced at c. €245k. Confirmation and further pricing details in all markets will be revealed later in the year.
    First deliveries of Wraith will be made to customers in the final quarter of 2013.

    William Maley

    Fiat's 124 Spider Bulks Up (In Power)

    If you have been wishing for a more powerful version of the Mazda Miata, your wish has come true. Although to get your hands on it, you'll need to visit a Fiat dealership. Fiat's performance division, Abarth introduced their version of 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show.
     
    The Abarth 124 Spider begins outside with a new aero package, larger vents for engine cooling, blacked out hood, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior is swathed in Alcantara and Abarth badging.
     
    Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Abarth claims a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. It should be noted the specs are for the European model. The U.S. model might have some slight differences.
     
    Other changes include a mechanical limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, Brembo brakes, and a new Record Monza exhaust system that is said to produce a “beautiful growling sound.”
     
    The Abarth 124 Spider will go on sale this fall Europe with a base price of 40,000 Euros. No timeframe was given as to when we'll see it in the U.S.
     
    Source: Abarth
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The new Abarth 124 spider
     
    The new Abarth 124 spider aims at sweeping a new generation off their feet with its performance and technical DNA. It combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology, safety and a touch of unmistakable Italian design. The car will be available in September with prices starting from €40,000 for all Europe.
     
    Performance DNA
    The new Abarth 124 spider combines the great sensorial experiences of excitement and driving fun that only a spider can give. Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the car exemplifies at best the distinctive Abarth values: performance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is the car that will bring back the smile on the driver’s face.
     
    Rear-Wheel drive architecture with Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential
    124 spider is designed for thrills and performance and has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider is equipped with a sports mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction in the most critical situations and provide incomparable dynamic behaviour.
     
    Perfect weight distribution and lightweight design
    Abarth 124 spider creates a new benchmark in the sporty roadster segment and this is confirmed in numbers. Much of the weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanicals and the use of special materials have contained the weight to just 1,060 kilograms, which results in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP, the best in its category, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution in running order, which translates in great agility and performance. Taking on board the lessons learned through the Abarth racing series, the weight obsession pushed Abarth to eliminate gram by gram all possible weight: For instance, an active bonnet system was developed in order to comply with the strict passenger collision standards without damaging the weight coefficient or balance of the car. By using sensors on the cross-member and two pyrotechnic loads in the engine compartment, the system recognises danger and deploys in a few milliseconds to guarantee a safety gap and attenuate the collision against the bonnet.
     
    Supercar mechanics and suspensions scheme
    The suspension of the 124 spider has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. Steering ensures a great driving feeling with the use of a dual pinion electric power assist system.
     
    The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures customers can get the most out of the rear-wheel drivetrain, always aiming for the true driving pleasure. Also the “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ultimate handling and driving comfort.
     
    The Brembo braking system, with aluminium front callipers, guarantees very short braking distances and excellent resistance to brake fade, making the pedal always feel pleasant and safe.
     
    Powerful engine and sporty gearboxes for an extraordinary driving experience
    The Abarth 124 spider offered in the EMEA region is equipped with a powerful, reliable four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine. It delivers 170 HP (about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8-seconds. Furthermore, the sound of engine really matters in an Abarth car, so the Record Monza exhaust come equipped as standard, generating a beautiful growling sound.
     
    The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox. The first is characterised by quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw, direct lever.
     
    The Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox is the result of careful tuning to exploit all the engine torque and conveys genuine racing sensations. Using the lever or the paddles behind the steering wheel, shifting is extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by setting “Sport” mode on the driving mode selector.
     
    Throttle-steer driving style
    The Abarth 124 spider comes with state-of-the-art electronic devices and active safety features but to ensure the Abarth provides a proper race car feeling when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the perfect mechanical balance and linear engine response, the trademarks of a genuine rear-wheel drive sportscar.
     
    Officine Abarth: high technology, hand-crafted care
    Officine Abarth, based in Mirafiori, is where the 124 spider emphasise the typical Italian art of driving.
     
    The 124 receives a special treatment from Abarth technicians, who truly love cars. The Abarth people bring their values to an already great product, by fitting the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the Racing Alcantara® Kit that contributes to elevate the overall interior quality, ensuring at the same time a proper sporting feel due to its dark finishing and grip.
     
    The standard-fit Record Monza exhaust is also installed in Officine Abarth, to ensure outstanding engine performance and an unmistakable sound.
     
    Each car is tested and certified by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plate showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of Abarth 124 spider. A unique number for a unique client.
     
    Design true to the Abarth DNA
    The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects the superb mechanical layout of the car, a key element to achieve the perfect proportions for a sport car: A long bonnet to underline the importance of the engine and the powerful attitude of the car, reduced overhangs to emphasize its agile attitude, a cabin close to the rear axle to let the driver feel the road.
     
    The passenger compartment-to-bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider.
     
    The design is all about performance: both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in “Forgiato Grey”, a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car.
     
    The original headlights together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car's bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface.
     
    The rear end of Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of its classic predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car.
     
    Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The nomenclature is a clear tribute to its prestigious success in rallying.
     
    Interior design
    The Abarth DNA is also confirmed inside with an overall focus aimed at guaranteeing ideal ergonomics. The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable at the same time, and allow for a positive driving position as far back and as low as possible to better perceive any lateral movement of the car. Also, the controls are perfectly in tune with the car's sporty set-up: the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard all contribute to conveying a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in central position.
     
    Active and passive safety
    The new Abarth 124 Spider is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to the ABS, standard equipment includes the EBD, for adjusting front and rear brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and control in all load conditions of the car, and ESC for increased control in all driving conditions. It is useful in critical situations, e.g. on corners and mixed surfaces in presence of snow, ice and gravel. The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to bring the car back on line if a difference between the driver's action and trajectory is detected. The ERM is an extension of the ESC system and exploits the sensors to calculate whether the car is approaching a potentially dangerous condition at risk of rolling over. It corrects the risk by applying the brakes separately and modulating the accelerator position as needed. It can be fully disengaged for track driving to allow the driver exploit the Abarth 124 spider’s outstanding balance and dynamic abilities to the full.
     
    The three-point seat belts employ Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in controlled manner.
     
    The LED adaptive headlights are available to guarantee driving pleasure even in poor visibility conditions. They can be equipped with rain sensor and dusk sensor on demand.
     
    Equipment: sportiness and comfort
    The following details apply to the EMEA region and may vary according to the various market needs. See the www.fiatpress.com website for complete information.
     
    The new Abarth 124 spider has a three-gauge instrument panel featuring a large rev counter in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a data display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance.
     
    Standard equipment includes manual climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, adjustable and electrically-folded door mirrors.
     
    Other features available on demand include the infotainment system with an ergonomic and intuitive knob on the central unit. According to the configuration, the system can feature a 7-inch colour display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera.
     
    For superior sound quality, a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers on both seats and a subwoofer, can be chosen.

    William Maley

    Showing you can increase the performance of a vehicle, without touching the engine

    Power isn't everything in a sports car and Chevrolet would like to prove to that you with the introduction of the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport.
     
    The Grand Sport retains the 6.2L LT1 V8 producing 460 horsepower. But is able to pull 1.2 Gs and is almost as quick as the last-generation ZR1 at GM's Milford proving ground. How did Chevrolet pull this off? It comes down to the chassis and body. Corvette engineers fitted new stabilizer bars and springs to improve handling. A set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires keep the Grand Sport sticking to the road. Other changes for the Grand Sport include a limited-slip differential, a Z06-style front grille, wider rear fenders, and a new aero package.
     
    Optional is the Z07 package that adds carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires.
     
    Chevrolet will be offering Collector Edition of the Grand Sport that includes a Watkins Glen Gray paint finish with Tension Blue hash marks, satin black stripes, black wheels, and a full leather and suede interior finished in blue.
     
    The Grand Sport will be offered in a coupe and convertible when it goes on this summer.
     
    Source: Chevrolet
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    2017 CORVETTE GRAND SPORT HAS RACING ROOTS
    A ‘purist’ model that leverages a half-century legacy of motorsports success

    Lightweight architecture and track-honed aerodynamics An engine offering an estimated 1.05g in cornering capability and up to 1.2g with the available Z07 package Coupe and convertible available this summer in U.S. and fall in Europe Grand Sport Collector Edition available later in model year

    GENEVA – With Corvette Racing in its DNA, the all-new 2017 Corvette Grand Sport is a pure expression of the car’s motorsports-bred pedigree. It was introduced today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
     

    Like the 2015 Le Mans-winning Corvette C7.R GTE Pro race car, the new Grand Sport combines a lightweight architecture, a track-honed aerodynamics package, Michelin tires and a naturally aspirated engine.
     
    The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport offers an estimated 1.05g in cornering capability – and up to 1.2g with the available Z07 package.
     
    Heritage-inspired design cues and exclusive features acknowledge the historic Grand Sport legacy, established in 1963 to take on the world’s best sports cars. Only five were built before a corporate decision suspending direct motorsports involvement ended the project.
     
    “Racing has been part of Corvette’s essence for more than 50 years and that track experience has helped us build better, more capable cars,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The global acclaim for the seventh-generation Corvette validates that direct link and the 2017 Grand Sport takes its track-bred technology to a new, exciting threshold.”
     
    The Corvette Grand Sport coupe and convertible go on sale this summer in the U.S. and in the fall in Europe.
     
    No holding back
     
    Engineers adapted the chassis tuning, upgraded cooling systems, and performance technologies of the Corvette Z06 to give the new Grand Sport capability commensurate with its racing-derived history.
     
    “We didn’t hold back with the new Grand Sport,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “For the first time, buyers can equip the Grand Sport with a Z07 performance package – which adds carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Sport Cup 2 summer tires, and carbon-fiber aero package that delivers true downforce.”
     
    The result is a potent track car. In fact, the Grand Sport with the Z07 package is less than one second off the track record for the previous-generation Corvette ZR1 on the road course at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.
     
    Content highlights for Grand Sport include:
    Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires: 285/30ZR19 (front) and 335/25ZR20 (rear) Specific Grand Sport wheel design: 19x10 inches (front) and 20x12 inches (rear) Brembo brake system with (355 mm) 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers in front and (340 mm) 13.4 inch rotors and four-piston calipers in the rear Standard magnetic ride control, specific stabilizer bars and unique springs Standard electronic limited-slip differential LT1 V8 engine rated at (343 kW) 460 hp, with dry-sump oiling system and active exhaust Seven-speed manual transmission with active rev match and available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic with specific performance calibration

    Available Z07 package adds carbon ceramic-matrix brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires.
    In addition to track-focused aero elements, the Grand Sport also features specific front fender inserts, a Z06-style grille and wider rear fenders – a distinctive design package that gives the car a track-ready attitude.
     

    Grand Sport models are offered with the Stingray’s full exterior and interior color palette. An available Heritage package includes hash-mark fender graphics in six colors, with the hash-mark detail carried onto the interior’s brushed aluminum trim. Full-length stripes are also offered.
     
    “The choices are almost endless,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager. “The packages take personalization to an unprecedented level, enabling customers to create their own Corvette Grand Sport statement like no other.”
     
    Grand Sport Collector Edition
     
    The Grand Sport Collector Edition features an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic exterior with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length stripes, black wheels and a unique Tension Blue full leather and suede-wrapped interior.
     
    The Tension Blue color is a bold, modern take on the hue historically associated with the Grand Sport. Inside, a three-dimensional representation of an original Grand Sport race car is embossed in the headrests and that shape is also used on an instrument panel plaque that carries a unique build sequence number.
     
    The Collector Edition will be offered later in the model year in the U.S. and Europe.

    William Maley

    Infiniti Previews A Compact Luxury Crossover for Geneva

    Infiniti is readying to join the mess that is the compact premium crossover segment.
    Next month at the Geneva Motor Show, the Japanese luxury automaker will reveal the QX30 concept. In a press release, Infiniti says the QX30 is for those who seeking an "urban week and get-away weekend" lifestyle.
    Judging from the teaser show released by Infiniti, the QX30 concept looks be a high-riding version of the Q30 concept shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. We can make out a set of trapezoidal tailpipes, small liftgate, and slim taillights.
    Now its been reported that the Q30 and QX30 will use Mercedes-Benz's MFA architecture - the one that underpins the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA-Class models.
    We'll have more information and pictures when the QX30 debuts next month.
    Source: Infiniti
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Infiniti gears up for premiere of QX30 Concept in Geneva
    Hong Kong – Infiniti will take the covers off the QX30 Concept at the Geneva International Motor Show next month.
    The QX30 Concept is the Infiniti design vision that will inspire a new premium compact crossover targeted at a new generation of premium customers.
    Set to be revealed at Infiniti's press conference scheduled for 12:30 p.m. local time on March 3 in Geneva, the QX30 Concept aims to reignite the premium compact segment with a distinctive approach to design that looks beyond the practicality and conformity expected of the segment.
    The potential customers for such a concept are searching for a product to suit their "urban week and get-away weekend" lifestyle, and the QX30's compact footprint matches that. Combining the sleek lines of a coupe with the rugged looks and commanding seating position of a crossover, the QX30 Concept foreshadows an urban explorer which is equally at home in the city as it is on the open road.

    William Maley

    Maserati reveals the Levante's exterior

    Maserati was hoping to keep the Levante - their first SUV - under wraps before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. But Dutch publication Autoweek published leaked images of the Levante earlier today. That caused the Italian automaker to reveal the Levante's exterior and spill some information on it.
     
    As we have reported previously, the Levante would not be using any of the design found the on Kubang concept. Instead, the Levante looks like a Ghibli or Quattroporte hatchback or wagon. Up front is the distinctive grille that Maserati has been using on their current lineup, along with narrow headlights and sculpted hood. The back end is very reminiscent of the Porsche Cayenne.
     
    Maserati describes the Levante's chassis as combining "the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride." We're doubting most owners of the Levante are planning to go off-road.
     
    Maserati has also revealed that the Levante will have an eight-speed automatic and Q4 all-wheel-drive system.
     
    We'll have more details on the Levante next month.
     
    Source: Maserati, Autoweek.nl
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Maserati Levante
    Maserati's first SUV receives its eagerly-awaited world unveiling at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show

    Maserati reveals the exterior form of the Levante, the first SUV in the brand's more than one hundred year history: the new model completes the existing range of saloon and sports cars, extending the offering together with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models.
    The design of the Levante features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille. Maserati's design signature is clearly visible on the sides: the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered back window and streamlined shape, both typical of a high-performance sports car.
    At a technical level, the Levante's chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride. The new SUV boasts a high level of content as standard, with all versions featuring: sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the brand's new SUV.
    When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant.
    The Maserati Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world later this year.

    William Maley

    Drops one cylinder, adds more power

    Ford has ripped off the sheet of the next-generation Fiesta ST that will make its official debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. 
    The big news is what lies under the ST's hood. A new 1.5L EcoBoost three-cylinder produces 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque. This is a noticeable increase from the current Fiesta ST sold in Europe as it only produces 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque from a 1.6L EcoBoost four. Paired with a six-speed manual, the Fiesta ST hits 60 mph in 6.7 seconds - 0.2 seconds faster than the outgoing model.
    The new three-cylinder also comes with cylinder-deactivation. Under light loads, the engine can run on just two-cylinders to save fuel.
    Another big change is the introduction of three driving modes - Normal, Sport, and Track. The modes alters the response of the engine and throttle; steering, stability control, and exhaust sound. (Yes, the new Fiesta ST comes with a sound enhancement system). Torque vectoring is standard and will help reduce understeer when entering a corner.
    The European market will get the choice of three and five-door body styles of the ST. It is quite the looker up front with the new mesh grille and reshaped headlights. The same cannot be said for the back which looks a bit boring. Inside, there are a set of Recaro seats to hold you and a passenger in during enthusiastic driving. Other items of note include a flat-bottom steering wheel and a 8-inch touchscreen featuring SYNC 3.
    Ford says the Fiesta ST will go on sale in Europe early next year. There's no word on if and when the Fiesta ST (or for that matter the Fiesta itself) will come to the U.S.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Next-Gen Ford Fiesta ST Debuts 200PS, Three-Cylinder, 1.5-Litre EcoBoost Engine and Drive Modes
    Ford Performance reveals next generation Ford Fiesta ST powered by an all-new 200PS, three-cylinder, 1.5‑litre EcoBoost engine at the Geneva Motor Show First three-cylinder Ford Performance model also features Drive Modes that adjust engine, steering, stability controls and even exhaust sound for optimised driving fun Electronic Sound Enhancement and active exhaust valve amplify sporty sound of three-cylinder engine that also features cylinder deactivation for further reduced CO2* Enhanced range of personalisation options and technology includes newstyling packs, SYNC 3 connectivity with eight-inch touchscreen and B&O Play high-end audio BRENTWOOD, UK, Feb. 24, 2017 – Ford Performance today announced the next generation Ford Fiesta ST, powered by an all-new three-cylinder, 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine.
    Shown for the first time ahead of its global public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the next‑generation Fiesta ST will deliver 200PS, 290Nm of torque and anticipated 0‑62mph acceleration in 6.7sec.
    The third generation of Fiesta ST will be the first ever Ford Performance model powered by a three-cylinder engine, and the first Fiesta ST to feature selectable Drive Modes – enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings for an optimised fun-to-drive experience in conditions from motorways to track days.
    Drive Modes will also adjust Fiesta ST’s Electronic Sound Enhancement (ESE) technology and active exhaust noise control valve to deliver an even more satisfying driving experience. The technologies amplify the naturally sporty sound of the new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine that also features Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation system for a three-cylinder engine, for further reduced CO2 emissions of an anticipated 114g/km.*
    Available from launch in early 2018 in both three-door and five-door bodystyles, the next generation Fiesta ST will be offered with a greater variety of interior trim and personalisation options than ever before, with bold and distinctive exterior styling that includes a unique race-car-inspired mesh grille and exclusive 18in alloy wheels.
    “Our next generation Fiesta ST is true to the philosophy of delivering cutting-edge technology to enhance every facet of the responsive Ford Performance chassis and powertrain,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “With selectable Drive Modes and an all-new EcoBoost engine delivering an unprecedented combination of performance and fuel-efficiency, the new model will deliver the most versatile, fun, engaging and rewarding Fiesta ST driving experience yet.”
    All-new 1-5-litre EcoBoost engine
    Part of Ford’s EcoBoost range of petrol engines that also includes the multi-award-winning 1.0‑litre EcoBoost, the all-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine uses technology including turbocharging, high-pressure fuel injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing to deliver optimised performance and fuel efficiency.
    The engine’s three-cylinder architecture delivers naturally high torque at low rpm. Performance is further boosted by a new turbocharger that uses an optimised turbine design to build boost pressure faster and minimise lag for a more responsive and fun driving experience.
    A new combination of port fuel injection and direct fuel injection technology helps deliver high power and responsiveness alongside reduced CO2 emissions,* with a particular increase in fuel efficiency under light engine loads.
    Ford’s new cylinder deactivation technology – first announced for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and a world first for a three-cylinder engine – will further improve fuel efficiency for Fiesta ST customers without affecting performance by automatically stopping fuel delivery and valve operation for one of the engine’s cylinders in conditions where full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine. The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – to seamlessly deliver full performance on demand.
    The all-aluminium engine also features an integrated exhaust manifold thatimproves efficiency by helping the engine reach optimal temperatures faster, and delivers torque more rapidly by minimising the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger. Gas particulate filter technology that reduces soot emissions will also feature.
    New Drive Modes
    Selectable Drive Modes add even more versatility for the next generation Fiesta ST, enabling drivers to optimise the driving experience to suit scenarios from school run to the race track:
    In Normal mode, engine mapping, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), ESE, exhaust sound and electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) are configured to deliver natural responsiveness and a connected feel In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, and EPAS settings adjusted to deliver more feedback and finer control for fast road driving. The active noise control valve opens and ESE is adjusted to intensify the sporty exhaust note and engine noise within the cabin In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for hard circuit driving  The agile and responsive Ford Performance-tuned chassis will be supported by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control technology that improves road holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering. Three-mode ESC will enable drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full system de-activation.
    Greater personalisation
    The next generation Fiesta ST will offer more personalisation options than ever before. Customers will be able to choose from a range of trim elements for the gear lever, steering wheel, door pulls and decorative dashboard spear, and select from distinctive styling packs.
    The ergonomic Fiesta ST interior will feature supportive Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Exterior colour options will include new Liquid Blue and the Fiesta ST will feature exclusive 18in alloy wheels.
    “Our ST models are designed to make a Ford Performance driving experience accessible to customers regardless of lifestyle,” said Matthias Tonn, Fiesta ST chief programme engineer. “With three- and five-door bodystyles and distinctive styling options that complement the model’s performance characteristics available from day-one, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver a broader appeal for an even wider range of car-buyers.”
    Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system will enable Fiesta ST drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™, SYNC 3 is supported by floating, tablet-inspired touchscreens up to eight inches in size that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures.
    The next generation Fiesta ST also will be offered with a high quality B&O PLAY Sound System for a high-end audio experience – among features Ford first announced last year for the next generation Fiesta.

    William Maley

    Infiniti ads another subcompact luxury crossover to the fray

    Infiniti is the latest automaker wanting to join the luxury subcompact crossover craze with the reveal of the QX30 Concept at the Geneva International Motor Show.
    The QX30 Concept takes the overall design of the Q30 Concept and gives a bit of off-road flavor. Ride height has been increased to 7.1 inches and rides on a set of 21-inch wheels. The front end now sports larger air vents underneath the grille and new skid plate around back.
    "The QX30 Concept looks as capable as it is meant to be. The artistic touches we put in lift the crossover to another level from being just another utility vehicle," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director.
    Powering the concept is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed automatic.
    Infiniti says the QX30 will be heading into producing next year, with a wide range of powerplants.
    Source: Infiniti

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Stylish and Capable: Infiniti QX30 Concept debuts in Geneva
    Infiniti's precursor to a premium compact crossover
    Sharp design, rugged looks and command sitting make QX30 Concept the ideal urban explorer
    Hints at a full range of powertrains to suit every need

    Hong Kong/Geneva – Infiniti has revealed the stylish and highly capable QX30 Concept, the design vision that will inspire a new premium compact crossover.
    Making its debut at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, the QX30 Concept cements Infiniti's ambitions to expand into the global premium compact segment, which is forecast for significant growth with the entry of younger affluent customers.
    Combining the sleek lines of the coupe with the command sitting and all-wheel drive of a crossover, the QX30 Concept is just as adept at navigating high street as it is exploring weekend getaways.
    "The Infiniti QX30 Concept foreshadows an entry in the premium compact segment that provides a new alternative to customers in this segment," said Roland Krueger, Infiniti President and CEO. "The vehicle embodies our conviction to give customers the freedom to go wherever they want, whenever they want – in a way that expresses their individualized character."
    Expansion into growing segment
    By the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent about 80 percent of buyers in the premium compact segment. Research among this new generation of buyers shows an increasing rejection of traditional notions toward premium cars.
    Their idea of a premium car has less to do with size or power but more to do with distinctive design and outstanding execution.
    With its sharp looks and original features, the QX30 Concept was designed by an international team to appeal to these global customers who are less likely to follow tradition. The concept's compact footprint matches their search for a product that suits their urban lifestyle. The elevated stance of the crossover also provides a higher visual perspective in city traffic and in parking maneuvers.
    Infiniti first signaled its intentions to enter the premium compact segment when it revealed the Q30 Concept in Frankfurt in 2013. The introduction of the QX30 Concept is another building block in Infiniti's aggressive strategy to grow in key global markets, particularly China and Europe while expanding its offering in established markets such as the United States.
    Earmarked for production
    The QX30 Concept is the latest in a series of concept vehicles for which Infiniti has announced a definite and clear intent for production.
    The Q30 will be built in the U.K. this year while a sports coupe based on the Q60 Concept revealed in Detroit earlier this year will go into production next year. The QX30 Concept-inspired crossover will also be launched next year. Infiniti continues to broaden its lineup to cover the spectrum from smaller premium vehicles, namely the Q30, to full-size crossovers such as the QX70. In fact, Infiniti has drawn on its heritage of creating successful high-performance crossovers namely the QX50 and QX70 to craft the QX30 Concept.
    Art in utility
    To complement the higher stance of the QX30 Concept, Infiniti designers have added visual cues, which instantly identify the concept as a crossover.
    The body looks wider and thicker, thanks to the 21-inch wheels, large tires, and increased blackout around the wheel opening. The unique wheel design mixes three-dimensional milled aluminum and matte rubber material for an unconventional juxtaposition.
    The satin chrome front bumper is low with big side openings, giving off an air of rugged protection. The sense of stylish fortification is reinforced by the hardy kick plates under the doors and the tough-looking but sculpted skid plate in the rear.
    Even the roof racks have gone beyond their functional use. Extending toward the center line, they artistically "obstruct" the rear passenger's view through the glass roof, resulting in an inimitable perspective of the outside.
    Inside, the bold and dark environment harmonizes with the outdoors appeal of the exterior. All four seats have been streamlined for a suspended look, evoking a feeling of honed athleticism.
    The U-shaped seat frame is partially wrapped with a layer of premium Connolly saddle leather offset by blue stitching. The contrast between the exposed and covered parts of the frame lends a three-dimensional quality to the interior.
    "The QX30 Concept looks as capable as it is meant to be," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. "The artistic touches we put in lift the crossover to another level from being just another utility vehicle."
    Wide range of powertrains
    The QX30 Concept previews a family of vehicles which are designed to be matched with a wide range of powertrains, both gasoline and diesel. The array of powerplants is expected to cater to a variety of lifestyle aspirations around the world, depending on whether customers prefer a sportier or a more efficient drive.
    The QX30 Concept also hints at Infiniti's renowned sporting driving dynamics, and drivers can expect a nifty throttle response, especially useful when negotiating urban traffic.
    With big wheels and thick tires, the QX30 Concept not only looks rock-solid but also feels it, greatly helping to increase driver confidence both on-road and off.
    Human-centric connection
    The warm and inviting interior of the QX30 Concept beckons and engages the vehicle's occupants emotionally. The slimmed-down seats now become facilitators of the shared space, instead of barriers between the driver and the passengers. And the crossover becomes a safe place for occupants to connect with one another.
    Reflecting the value that customers place on connectivity, the QX30 Concept gives a glimpse into the level of technology available, features not typically found in compact cars. For example, Infiniti InTouch™ keeps the driver connected to his digital world when on the move.
    "The QX30 Concept seeks to enrich the segment," said Krueger. "The car promises effortless elegance whether it's dealing with bad weather, poor road conditions or urban traffic."

    William Maley

    What is this Velar?

    Next month at the Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover will unveil the newest member of the Range Rover family. Called the Velar, the model will slot between the Range Rover Evoque and Sport models. Rumor has it that Velar will look somewhat similar to the Sport with a more rakish roofline. It is also speculated that the Velar will use the underpinnings of the Jaguar F-Pace.
    "We call the Velar the avant garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything," said Land Rover's chief design officer, Gerry McGovern in a press release.
    If you're wondering about Velar, it is derived from the Italian word 'velare' meaning to cover or veil. Velar also has some history with Land Rover as it was the codename for the original Range Rover.
    Source: Land Rover
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Introducing the Range Rover Velar
    New addition to the Range Rover family, filling the white space between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport ‘Velar’ name derived from the original Range Rover prototypes of 1969 World premiere on March 1, 2017; US debut at the 2017 New York International Auto Show (MAHWAH, N.J.) – February 21, 2017 - In 1970 Land Rover launched the original Range Rover. Almost half a century later that spirit of innovation continues with the introduction of the fourth member of the Range Rover family, to be unveiled on March 1, 2017.
    Elegant simplicity, a visually reductive approach and all-new consumer technologies are the hallmarks of the new Range Rover Velar. 
    Land Rover Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern, said: “We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover.  It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”
    Refined for every occasion and for various terrains, the Range Rover Velar uses unique sustainable materials and advanced engineering to continue Land Rover’s drive to go Above and Beyond.
    The origin of the Velar name (pronounced vel-ar) dates back to the first Range Rover prototypes of the Sixties: the pioneers of the luxury SUV landscape.
    When development engineers needed to hide the true identity of the 26 pre-production Range Rover vehicles, they chose the name Velar, derived from the Latin ‘velare’ meaning to veil or cover.                               
    Full details of the Range Rover Velar will be announced on March 1, 2017.

    William Maley

    Redefining what it means to be mean and green

    Meet the most powerful Porsche Panamera - the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. 
    Using a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V-8 (550 horsepower) and electric motor (136 horsepower), the Turbo S E-Hybrid boasts a total output of 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph takes only 3.2 seconds and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will hit a top speed of 192 mph. The E-Hybrid comes with a 14.1kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack to provide juice for the electric motor, and allows the model to travel up to 31 miles on electric power only. Porsche says the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid's battery can recharge in under 12 hours when plugged into a 120V outlet, or less than 3 hours using a 240V outlet.
    Porsche will offer the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid in the standard and Executive (Porsche speak for long-wheelbase). Standard equipment for the U.S. model includes 21-inch wheels, air suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a a special auxiliary air-conditioning system that allows the A/C or heater to run while the vehicle is charging.
    The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month will sales kicking off towards the end of this year. Pricing will begin at $185,550 (includes a $1,050 destination charge).
    Source: Porsche
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Debuts As the Most Powerful Panamera Model
    World premiere in Geneva: Second hybrid variant of the Panamera introduced ATLANTA, Feb. 23, 2017 -- With the 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, Porsche is introducing a plug-in hybrid as the flagship of the model line for the first time. Combining the 4.0-liter V8 engine from the Panamera Turbo with an electric motor, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid delivers a total output of 680 hp and 626 lb.-ft. of torque. Only the limited production 918 Spyder has ever had more power. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds (3.3 seconds for the Executive model) and has a top track speed of 192 mph. According to the New European Driving Cycle, the average fuel consumption is 2.9 liters per 100 kilometers, and the new top-model Panamera can drive on fully electric power for up to 50 kilometers. EPA-rated fuel economy and range will be available closer to launch.
    Unique drive concept with V8 engine and electric motor
    After the successful debut of the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid – which uses a twin-turbo V6 engine combined with an electric motor – the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is another compelling demonstration of the performance advantages of hybrid technology. The new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid utilizes a boost strategy derived from the 918 Spyder and combines a 136 hp electric motor with a 550 hp twin-turbo V8 engine. The decoupler installed in the Porsche hybrid module is actuated electromechanically by an electric clutch actuator (ECA), just like in the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. This ensures quick response and exceptional comfort. Like other Panamera models, the quick-shifting eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission sends power to the standard active all-wheel drive system with Porsche Traction Management (PTM).
    The electric motor is powered via a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 14.1 kWh. The high-voltage battery takes 12 hours to fully charge via a common 120 V, 10 amp connection. If the optional 7.2 kW on-board charger is utilized instead of the standard 3.6 kW unit, the charging time decreases to less than three hours with a 240 V, 40 amp connection. The charging process can also be started using a timer via Porsche Communication Management (PCM) or the Porsche Connect app (for smartphones and Apple Watch). Moreover, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is fitted with auxiliary air conditioning to cool or heat the passenger compartment prior to driving.
    Connectivity and comfort at your fingertips
    The console between the driver and the front passenger is dominated by the 12.3-inch touchscreen of the next generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system. The driver and front passenger can set the configuration for this display individually. Integrated into the PCM are features such as navigation, the online functions of Porsche Connect Plus and smartphone integration via Apple® Car Play. The control panel with touch-sensitive switches on the center console enables intuitive control of various functions.
    Three-way combination of sports car performance, comfort on long trips and efficiency
    Performance, comfort and efficiency form a perfect three-way combination. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid comes with air suspension as standard and offers a unique balance in this segment: the comfort of a luxury sedan paired with the performance of a sports car. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid starts in the purely electric "E-Power" mode, and is capable of covering up to 50 kilometers on pure electric power according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). When a specific pressure point on the accelerator pedal is reached, or when the battery charge drops below a minimum level, the Panamera switches to "Hybrid Auto" mode, at which point the total system is available. Consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) amounts to 2.9 l/100 km. EPA-rated fuel economy and range will be available closer to launch.
    Debut with two wheelbases
    Celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show (March 7 to 19, 2017), the 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is expected to reach U.S. dealers by the end of 2017. It will also be offered in an Executive version with a 5.9 inch longer wheelbase. Standard equipment on the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid includes Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) including Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), Power Steering Plus and Sport Chrono Package. Auxiliary air-conditioning, adaptive aerodynamic elements and a three-chamber air suspension including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) are also standard. The Executive version is additionally equipped with rear axle steering, 8-way power rear seats with comfort head rests, and 4 – zone climate control. Both models are equipped with 21- inch 911 Turbo Design Wheels. The price for the 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will be $184,400, while the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive will start at $194,800. These prices exclude the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee.

    William Maley

    The Eclipse is making a comeback, but not in the way you were likely expecting

    Mitsubishi has revealed their showing for the Geneva Motor Show today called the Eclipse Cross. Yes, the Eclipse name which is best known for Mitsubishi's iconic sports coupe from the early 90's has returned for a crossover. 
    The Eclipse Cross might be the most stylish vehicle to come out of Mitsubishi in quite awhile. The front end is similar to the Outlander crossover with the distinctive grille, narrow headlights, and a chiseled bumper. The rest of the Ecllipse Cross' design is cribbed from the XR-PHEV II Concept from a few years back - raked rear hatch and a crease running along the side. The Eclipse Cross will slot between the Outlander and Outlander Sport. It should be noted that the Outlander Sport is within an inch or two of the Eclipse Cross in overall size - something that will be addressed when the a new and smaller Outlander Sport is introduced. The interior features a uniquely styled center stack with an infotainment screen on top. There also appears to be a pop-up screen for the heads-up display - something akin to Mazda.
    In Europe, the Eclipse Cross will be available with two engines; a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder and a 2.2L turbodiesel four-cylinder. The 1.5L is connected to a CVT, while the diesel gets an eight-speed automatic. No mention was made as to what engine will come to the U.S., but it would be a safe bet that the 1.5L will be the one. All-wheel drive will be standard for both engines.
    Mitsubishi will launch the Eclipse Cross in Europe this fall, with other markets to follow thereafter.
    Source: Mitsubishi
    Press Release is on Page 2


    GLOBAL PREMIERE OF MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS AT THE GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 2017
    CIRENCESTER – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will debut the all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7 March 2017 (Hall 2, 10:15 UK Time).
    The all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will join MMC’s global line-up of 4X4 and SUV vehicles - including the Mitsubishi ASX compact SUV, Outlander mid-size SUVs – and is due to go sale in the UK early in 2018.
    The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will compete in the C-SUV segment and will appeal to style-conscious drivers its sharp coupé looks and muscular SUV stance, as well as its advanced levels of connectivity and all-wheel control technology which delivers an enjoyable, reassuring feel that elevates the driving experience.
    Characteristic Dynamic Design
    The sharp and dynamic Mitsubishi SUV coupe form is distinguished by its wedge profile with its bold beltline and strong character line; a forward raked rear window; the sharply truncated rear gate and short overhang; and muscular wings that contribute to an athletic appearance.
    The front design of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross features MMC’s trademark Dynamic Shield concept, which refers to the protective shield shape visually formed by the black central area and highlighted by bold brightwork on either side of the grill. Distinctive auxiliary lamps are recessed deep in the front fascia adding drama and sophistication to the SUV’s front-on appearance.
    At the rear, the high-mounted, stretched rear lamps divide the rear window into eye-catching upper and lower segments and when illuminated the tubular LED and central LED brake lights form a single bar of light running across the tail, giving the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross a broad and unmistakable appearance from the rear.
    The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross also heralds the arrival of a new red body colour. The standard coating is layered with semi-transparent red and clear coating, and this creates high levels of colour saturation with a highly-refined finish.
    Inside, the new SUV’s dashboard is shaped using horizontal lines, with silver metal frames and a black and silver monotone color scheme helping create a sense of refinement that is both dynamic and sporty. With its table-like infotainment display and new Head Up Display, the futuristic cockpit inspires a sense of excitement for the driver. For maximum comfort and flexibility, the rear seat features a 60:40 split with long slide-and-recline adjustment.
    Connectivity that inspires new adventures
    The Eclipse Cross is fitted with the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, a Touchpad Controller and Head Up Display. Together they allow the driver to access different types of information conveniently and safely.
    Smartphone Link Display Audio supports Apple CarPlay*1, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone*1 in the car. The driver can use Siri*4 or the Smartphone Link Display Audio’s touch screen to receive directions optimised for traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road. Smartphone Link Display Audio also supports the Android AutoTM*2 which provides voice-controlled operation of Google MapsTM,*2 Google PlayTM*4 music and other apps. The Touchpad Controller can operate audio functions like radio, as well as Apple CarPlay.
    Placing the Touchpad Controller in the centre console allows the driver to easily operate the Smartphone Link Display Audio.
    The Head Up Display unit makes driving safer by presenting vehicle speed, data from the active safety systems and other necessary information that minimises eye movement and provides instant readability.
    Enjoyable and stable driving dynamics with all-wheel control technology
    Eclipse Cross uses an electronically-controlled 4WD system that feeds the optimum amount of torque to the rear wheels depending on the driving situation and the road surface. MMC’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system incorporates brake-activated AYC*3.
    The addition of a three-point strut tower brace at the front and the strategic use of structural bonding at the rear in particular have increased body rigidity. The stronger body and detail optimisation of the suspension ensure precise handling and superior vehicle stability.
    Eclipse Cross offers two powertrains that deliver an outstanding balance of power, performance and efficiency. The new 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine is available with a new CVT transmission with 8-speed Sport Mode manual override, while MMC’s proven 2.2-litre common rail direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine is modified specifically for Eclipse Cross is fitted with a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
    The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is due to go on sale in the UK early in 2018 with pricing and final UK specification to be announced closer to its on-sale date.

    William Maley
    Subaru felt it was time to give the XV Crosstrek a makeover. The end result made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show as the XV (the U.S. version will be known as the Crosstrek).
    The big news for the XV/Crosstrek is Subaru's modular platform. First making its debut in the new Impreza, the new platform gives the XV a 70 percent increase in overall rigidity. Subaru says this helps give the XV improved driving dynamics and makes it much safer in the event of an accident. 
    Subaru has also made the XV a bit more capable when it comes to the rough stuff by adding hill descent control and X-Mode that optimizes the engine, all-wheel drive system, and brakes to improve traction on slipperier surfaces like mud and snow. This is on top of a ground clearance of 8.6-inches. 
    Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 154 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT. 
    There isn't a dramatic change to the XV's exterior aside from a revised front end that comes with a new grille and reshaped headlights. The interior is a different story as it features a revamped dashboard design with a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen, along with improved materials. 
    The XV will come with Subaru's EyeSight safety system - pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist - as standard. The Crosstrek in North America will get this an option.
    Subaru will begin sales of the XV in Europe later this year. We'll learn about when we get our hands on the Crosstrek next month at the New York Auto Show.
    Source: Subaru
    Press Release is on Page 2


    WORLD PREMIERE OF ALL-NEW SUBARU XV AT 2017 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 
    Mar 7, 2017
    Built on Subaru’s new Global Platform - which significantly enhances refinement, safety, ride comfort, and agility. A newly-developed 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive are standard on all models. Equipped with X-MODE which enhances off road ability of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, offering increased SUV capability. XV’s rugged and sporty styling is influenced by Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy. Standard EyeSight driver assist technology delivers outstanding preventative safety. Subaru has unveiled the all-new XV at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. XV is a crossover which combines a compact body with SUV capability based on Subaru’s distinctive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and rugged yet sporty design, offering versatility in both urban areas and the countryside.
    For the first re-design since launch in 2012, XV will be built on Subaru’s completely revamped Subaru Global Platform architecture, significantly enhancing the body and chassis rigidity and strength.
    The new Subaru XV also offers world-class collision safety and hazard avoidance performance, as well as more responsive handling and ride comfort while enhancing the Subaru XV’s unique design and off road capability. The model is the first strategic offering in Europe under the company’s Prominence 2020 mid-term management vision which delivers “enjoyment and peace of mind” for customers.
    Key Features of All-New Subaru XV
    XV’s unique design is filled with rugged and sporty character, incorporating the Subaru design philosophy DYNAMIC x SOLID. Functional enhancements have also been included with a high-quality interior and exterior finish.
    Exterior
    The Wide & Low stance provides a sporty impression and adds to the Subaru family look, from the hexagonal grille to the hawk-eye headlights. The design flows from the grille through to the rear, providing a united scheme. The grille design and matte black cladding on the bumper elude to XV’s rugged character and SUV functionality. The character line runs from front wheel arch to rear shoulder and rises energetically; adding dynamism to the side profile. The extended wheel arches suggest the intent and capability provided by Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and is finished off with matte black cladding. The Wide & Low stance applied to the front design carries over to the rear combination lights. The shoulder silhouette with black roof spoiler are juxtaposed against the rugged matte black cladding on the rear bumper, playing up to XV’s versatile character. The new model also combines the Subaru performance essentials of superior aerodynamics and visibility with advanced styling. Newly designed alloy wheels embody the Subaru XV’s sporty, casual, and rugged character. New exterior colours “Cool Grey Khaki” and “Sunshine Orange” have been added, which contrast with the matte black cladding adding to XV’s active and functional image. Interior
    The body-hugging seats have been revised for improved quality and feature grey trim to enhance XV’s character. In the centre of the instrument panel is an 8.0-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system, with smartphone connectivity. Detailed orange stitching on the instrument panel complements the cabin’s quality. In addition to enhanced interior design, signature Subaru attributes have been further strengthened; excellent all-round visibility, spacious cabin, and cargo room. Enhanced dynamic driving performance paired with off road capability
    All-new XV has been improved in several areas to achieve an enhanced dynamic feel. Steering and pedal feedback, vehicle response, noise and vibration have been refined to achieve a positive driver experience. XV’s impressive off road capability has also been enhanced with X-MODE.
    Body & Chassis
    The new platform dramatically increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (70-100% increase over present models). Substantial improvements to the suspension system are incorporated, and help achieve a lower centre of gravity allowing precise steering control. Increased precision allows for superior straight line stability and cornering performance whilst maintaining 220mm ground clearance. Torsional rigidity has been improved by 70% over present models by optimising frame structure and joints. This distributes resonance and distortion throughout the body, reducing vibrations. Suspension mounts are more rigid, improving absorption without twisting the chassis and providing a smooth and comfortable drive. Body roll of the vehicle has been reduced by 50% compared to present models. The steering gear ratio has been modified from 14:1 to 13:1 compared to the previous model, offering superior drivability. Active Torque Vectoring enhances turning and steering performance. Electronic parking brake has been added for more convenience. All-Wheel Drive control
    In addition to Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, new XV is equipped with X-MODE. X-MODE is designed to increase drivability by optimising integrated control of the engine, All-Wheel Drive system and brakes to provide additional control when tyres slip and lose traction on a slippery road surface, including when descending hills. Engine
    80% of the parts on the FB series 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine have been revamped compared to previous naturally aspirated engines. The new engine is lighter, delivering more power and improved fuel economy. The improved Lineartronic greatly enhances ratio coverage and lightness to boost acceleration performance and fuel economy. As well as employing full auto-step shift control, the Subaru XV features a 7-speed manual mode function for a more engaging driving experience. Engine and transmission noise and vibration are greatly reduced, for a more dynamic experience. Safety
    Subaru’s safety performance has continuously been highly rated by third-party organizations. The new Subaru XV has adopted technologies to further enhance its safety including the new platform and the advanced preventative safety system, to ensure XV will achieve high safety ratings.
    Active safety
    The new platform achieves a centre of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower centre of gravity offers outstanding hazard avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car. Passive safety
    Impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models by using a frame structure that absorbs more energy and high-tensile steel plates. Preventive safety
    EyeSight, Subaru’s innovative and highly acclaimed driver assist technology, delivers extremely reliable preventive safety and assists drivers through features such as Pre-Collision Braking Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist function. The new High Beam Assist employs a monocular camera, automatically switching from high to low beam as per road conditions. Steering Responsive Headlights move the beam right or left whilst cornering or at junctions to illuminate the direction of travel. The Subaru XV uses two headlight controls for the first time, dramatically improving night-time visibility and the recognition capabilities of EyeSight. The Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection has been fitted, offering blind spot detection, lane change assistance and reversing assistance to enhance all-round preventive safety.

    William Maley

    How to make the Panamera somewhat more practical 

    Porsche is expanding the Panamera lineup once again with the introduction of the Sport Turismo (wagon). Riding on the same wheelbase as the standard Panamera, Porsche extended the roofline and increased the size of the rear hatch. If you're expecting a noticeable increase in cargo, prepared to be disappointed. The Sport Turismo only adds 1.8 cubic feet of additional cargo space. The Sport Turismo also boasts a unique rear spoiler. At low speeds, the spoiler will trim itself to reduce drag. Higher speeds see the spoiler rise to add downforce. The spoiler will also rise when the panoramic sunroof is opened to cut down on wind noise.
    The Panamera Sport Turismo's engine lineup will mostly match up with the Panamera, except the Sport Turismo will all-wheel drive as standard.
    Panamera 4: 330 horsepower Panamera 4S: 440 horsepower Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: 462 horsepower Panamera Turbo: 550 horsepower Porsche says the Panamera Sport Turismo will go on sale in North America towards the end of this year with pricing starting at $97,250 (includes $1,050 destination charge). 
    Source: Porsche 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    SPORT TURISMO EXPANDS THE PANAMERA MODEL LINE
    New body style with 4+1 seating configuration to debut in Geneva ATLANTA, March 1, 2017 -- Porsche is expanding the Panamera family with the addition of a new body style: The all-new Panamera Sport Turismo will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show (March 7 - 19, 2017). Four different versions will be available for ordering in the U.S. at launch: Panamera 4, Panamera 4S, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, and the Panamera Turbo. Based on the successful sports sedan, the new Panamera variants make a profound statement in the premium segment with their unmistakeable design. At the same time, the Sport Turismo, with up to 550 hp, is one of the most versatile models in its class. With a large tailgate, low loading edge, increased luggage compartment volume and a 4+1 seating concept, the new Panamera model offers the perfect combination of everyday usability and maximum flexibility. "For Porsche, the Panamera Sport Turismo is a step forward into a new segment, but retains all of those values and attributes that are characteristic of Porsche", says Michael Mauer, Director of Style Porsche.
    From a technological perspective, the Sport Turismo is available with all of the innovations introduced with the brand new Panamera model line announced last year. These include the digital Porsche Advanced Cockpit, the advanced assistance system Porsche InnoDrive, Porsche Communication Management (PCM), adaptive cruise control, and turbocharged powertrains.  Chassis systems such as Rear Axle Steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC Sport), the electronic roll stabilization system, are also available. In addition, all Panamera Sport Turismo vehicles are equipped with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) — an active all-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, and adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology as standard.
    The design and concept of an all-round sports car
    Just like the coupe-style Panamera sports sedan, the Sport Turismo is characterized by its very dynamic proportions — a reflection of the Porsche design DNA. The vehicle is 198.8 inches long, 56.2 inches high and 76.3 inches wide, while the wheelbase spans 116.1 inches. The silhouette is further characterized by short body overhangs and large wheels measuring up to 21 inches.
    Beginning from the B-pillars back, the Sport Turismo features a unique rear design. Above the pronounced shoulder, an elongated window line and equally long roof contour lend the vehicle its striking appearance. At the rear, the roof drops away less dramatically than the window line, resulting in a prominent and distinctive D-pillar which transitions into the shoulder section in a coupe-like fashion.
    First adaptively extendible roof spoiler
    At the top of the vehicle, the roof extends into an adaptive spoiler. The angle of the roof spoiler is set in three stages depending on the driving situation and selected vehicle settings, and can generate an additional downforce of up to 110 lbs. on the rear axle. In normal driving, the aerodynamic guide element — a central system component of the Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA) — stays in its retracted position with an angle of minus seven degrees, which reduces drag and thus optimizes fuel consumption.
    At track speeds, the roof spoiler automatically moves to the performance position with an angle of plus one degree, thereby increasing driving stability and lateral dynamics. When in the Sport and Sport Plus driving modes, the roof spoiler automatically moves to the performance position at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour. PAA also provides active assistance by adapting the roof spoiler's angle of inclination to plus 26 degrees when the panoramic sliding roof is open at speeds above 55 mph. In this case, the spoiler helps to minimize wind noise.
    Redesigned rear compartment
    The new Sport Turismo is the first Panamera to feature rear seating for three passengers. The two outer seats take the form of individual seats — in keeping with the model line's reputation for sporty performance with maximum passenger comfort — thereby producing a 2+1 configuration in the rear. As an option, the Panamera Sport Turismo is also available in a four-seat configuration with two electrically adjustable individual seats in the back.
    The raised roof line of the Sport Turismo allows for easy entry and exit at the rear of the vehicle and offers excellent head clearance. The usability of the luggage compartment benefits from the wide opening tailgate and a loading edge height of just 24.7 inches. Measured to the upper edge of the rear seats, the  18.4 cu.ft storage capacity of the Sport Turismo (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: 15 cu.ft) betters that of the sports sedan by 0.7 cu.ft. When loaded up to roof level and with the rear seats folded down, the gains amount to approximately 1.8 cu.ft (50 liters). The backrests of the three rear seats can be folded down together or individually (in a 40:20:40 split) and are unlocked electrically from the luggage compartment. When all of the backrests are folded down, the loading floor is practically level. In this case, the storage volume is expanded to up to 49 cu.ft (1,390 liters) (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: 45.7 cu.ft).
    A luggage compartment management system is available as an option for the Panamera Sport Turismo models. Among other things, this variable system includes two rails integrated in the loading floor, four tie-down points, and a luggage compartment partition net.
    Four engines at market launch
    The Panamera Sport Turismo models will be available with the four engines launching with the sports sedan, and they consequently maintain the same 0 to 60 acceleration figures. The Panamera 4 Sport Turismo is powered by a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 generating 330 hp, and it will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds with launch control. The Panamera 4S Sport Turismo reaches 60 mph (with launch control) in 4.0 seconds and is powered by a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is powered by the same combustion engine as in the 4S, and it has an additional 136 hp electric motor which in combination propel it from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds. The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo reaches 60 (with launch control) in 3.4 seconds and is powered by a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 generating 550 hp.
    Availability and pricing
    The MY18 Panamera Sport Turismo models are expected to arrive in the United States at the end of 2017. Prices will start at $96,200 for the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, $104,000  for the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, $109,200 for the Panamera 4S Sport Turismo, and $154,000 for the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee.

    William Maley

    Jaguar Teases Their Upcoming Compact Luxury Sedan

    Jaguar has finally teased their new compact luxury sedan that will take on the German stronghold in the class. Named the XE, the sedan will utilize a new "aluminum intensive" chassis that was previewed in the C-X17 Crossover Concept from last year. The new XE will also come with a family of turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder gas and diesel engines called Ingenium. The company says the new engines will deliver excellent performance and low emissions.
    The new XE will officially debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year. Sales will start in Europe in 2015, with the U.S. following a year later.
    Source: Jaguar
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    JAGUAR XE CONFIRMED AS NAME FOR COMPACT SPORTS SEDAN WITH All-NEW ‘INGENIUM’ ENGINE FAMILY AND ADVANCED ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY
    The Jaguar XE will be an all-new compact premium sports sedan that will arrive in the United States in 2016
    This sedan will expand the Jaguar lineup to reach a new generation of automotive enthusiasts and luxury buyers
    The Jaguar XE will be an advanced, efficient and refined design featuring an aluminum intensive unibody
    This will be the first Jaguar product built on the company’s new advanced aluminum architecture
    The Jaguar XE will be the first vehicle powered by the new Ingenium high-output, fuel-efficient two-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines delivering exceptional performance and low emissions
    The Ingenium family of engines will be built at a new Jaguar Land Rover Engine Manufacturing Facility in the United Kingdom

    (MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 4, 2014 – Today, Jaguar confirmed details of the brand’s all-new compact sport sedan, the Jaguar XE which will launch globally in 2015 and comes to the United States in 2016. The Jaguar XE will be the first product built on the new advanced aluminum architecture which was showcased in the C-X17 concept car in 2013. This aluminum intensive structure provides the benefits of lightness and strength for exceptional handling, performance, refinement and efficiency.
    Power will be provided by a variety of engines with a wide range of capacities and output, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies. The new Ingenium engine line will also offer a flexible engine architecture that can be configured to suit in-line and transverse installations and can be used in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
    Speaking at the Geneva Auto Show, Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, confirmed: "We announced just a few weeks ago that our new Engine Manufacturing Center would produce a new family of premium, lightweight, low-friction, low emission four-cylinder gasoline and diesel units. The first of our Ingenium engine range will be used in our all-new compact Jaguar sports sedan. That car will be called the Jaguar XE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year."
    Ian Callum, Director of Design, said: "The new Jaguar XE is every bit a modern Jaguar car; more compact in size but visually striking. Customers will expect a great deal from a compact Jaguar car - it must be practical but premium. We never forget we are designing a Jaguar car and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own. We believe we've done just that with the Jaguar XE."
    "The all-new Jaguar XE compact sport sedan will bring Jaguar into the largest segment of the luxury car market with a dynamic new entry that will challenge the status quo of luxury car brands," said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President of Jaguar North America. "Jaguar is charting an exciting new path with the recent launch of the Jaguar F-TYPE and the introduction of the Jaguar XE, which completes our sedan line-up. We offer a more exclusive, distinct choice in the luxury car marketplace combining progressive British design, a high performance character and advanced aluminum technology."
    The name of the Jaguar XE follows the brand's sedan progression, positioned alongside the XF and XJ sedans in the range.

    William Maley

    Volkswagen does the seemingly unthinkable, create a stylish vehicle!

    The Volkswagen CC held a distinction that very few models in their lineup could (aside from not being involved in the diesel emission mess); it was a model that actually had some style. The CC's successor, the Arteon looks to be taking this a step further.
    To be shown later this week at the Geneva Motor Show, the Arteon is mostly a carbon copy of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown two years ago. The front end gets a massive grille that extends into the LED headlights. Fenders bulge out and the swoopy roofline flows gently into a fastback. For the interior, Volkswagen is giving the Arteon some serious luxury credentials with available Alcantara/”Vienna” leather seats, Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit, and a 9.2-inch infotainment display with gesture controls.
    Europe will have the choice of six turbocharged engines; three gas and three diesels.
    1.5L TSI Evo: 148 horsepower 2.0L TSI: 188 horsepower 2.0L TSI:  276 horsepower 2.0L TDI: 148 horsepower 2.0L TDI: 188 horsepower 2.0L TDI: 236 horsepower A six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG will be on offer, as will Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive.
    Volkswagen says the Arteon will go on sale in Germany in June. North America has to wait till next year when the Arteon arrives as a 2019 model.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    VOLKSWAGEN ARTEON MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    Mar 6, 2017
    Premium four-door coupe is positioned above the Passat mid-size sedan Five-seat Arteon combines the design elements of a sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback Standard LED headlamps merge with the radiator grille and bonnet to form a completely new front end Very long wheelbase in relationship to the overall length offers excellent space Six turbocharged engines offer power outputs from 148 to 276 horsepower Top engines come with a DSG® dual-clutch automatic gearbox and 4Motion® all-wheel drive as standard Infotainment options include available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit and 9.2-inch Discover Pro system Herndon, VA – Volkswagen is adding the avant-garde Arteon Gran Turismo to its lineup and will reveal the vehicle to a global audience for the first time at the Geneva International Motor Show (9 to 19 March). Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff says: "The Arteon combines the design elements of a classic sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback. It’s an avant-garde business-class Gran Turismo that speaks to the heart and head alike."
    Tobias Sühlmann, responsible for the Arteon's exterior design, further explains: “The athletic lines of the Arteon embody a highly functional overall concept. Form and function find common ground here in a progressive way. Thanks to its long wheelbase, stretched roofline, coupe-style fastback design and large rear hatch, this Gran Turismo provides more space and flexibility than conventional sedans."
    The new Arteon was designed on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). The architecture allows for a long, 111.9- inch wheelbase and for short overhangs on the 191.4-inch long body. With a width of 73.7 inches and a height of 56.2 inches, the Arteon delivers truly dynamic proportions and a visual starting point for the Volkswagen designers.
    One of the most important design elements of the Arteon is the completely new front section. Stand-out features include a hood that extends a long way forward and over both fenders and a radiator grille that encompasses the vehicle's full width. The standard LED headlights and Daytime Running Lights combine with the chrome-plated crossbars of the radiator grille and hood. The powerful shoulder section at the rear, the muscular fenders, the waistline, and the flared wheelarches are also reminiscent of a sports car.
    Just 24 months ago, Volkswagen unveiled the Sport Coupé Concept GTE, which was one of the stars of the Geneva Auto Show in 2015. Klaus Bischoff said then that: "The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is another milestone of expressive design. Unmistakably reinvented, from the first to the last stroke. A stylistic compass. In this concept car, Volkswagen is not only presenting the new design of a new model, but also initial glimpses of a new era in design."
    Now that Volkswagen is showing the production version, Klaus Bischoff adds: "The fact that the Arteon has gone into production with only minimal design changes from the show car demonstrates Volkswagen's appetite for innovation. Exactly like the concept car, the Arteon generates that 'I want it' feeling. As forecast in 2015, this car does indeed mark the start of a new design era."
    The Arteon takes its place in the Volkswagen model range above the Passat. The new Volkswagen is being produced at the Emden plant and will go on sale in mid June in Germany.
    The Arteon reinterprets the Gran Turismo concept with its combination of avant-garde design, sportiness, great flexibility and generous space. There is excellent legroom in the back and generous luggage space of 19.9 to 55.0 cubic feet. On the technical front, the new Volkswagen impresses with six highly efficient engines with power outputs that range from 148 to 276 horsepower, front-wheel and 4Motion® all-wheel drive, plus digitalized displays and controls. Further features include the Active Info Display (Volkswagen Digital Cockpit in the U.S.), a headup display and the new Discover Pro infotainment system with a 9.2-inch glass screen and gesture control.
    The Arteon's innovative driver assistance systems match its avant-garde looks. Three of the new technologies stand out here. First, the latest generation Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) now takes into account data such as speed limits and/or route information and automatically adjusts the speed accordingly. Thanks to the navigation system's GPS and road data, the new dynamic cornering light system with predictive beam control recognizes when a bend is approaching and is already lighting it before the driver actively turns into it. Further added safety is provided by the second generation of Emergency Assist: if the driver becomes incapacitated by illness, the system not only (within its system limits) slows the car down, but now also steers it into the nearside lane, traffic behind permitting.
    Despite the high-end looks and equipment, the Arteon is available at an attractive price. In parallel with the high-quality base version, the car will be available in two exclusive equipment lines: the Elegance and R-Line®. The Arteon Elegance is focused heavily on luxury and design. The Arteon R-Line, meanwhile, puts sportiness at its heart. It is possible for the vehicle to be extensively personalized.
    Every Arteon model has the following standard features:

    Exterior
    Chrome strips on side windows LED taillights LED headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights Aluminum-alloy wheels Keyless Go access Interior
    Stainless steel door kickplates, front and rear Composition Media infotainment system, including eight loudspeakers, AUX-IN and USB Electronically controlled air conditioning system Leather multifunction steering wheel (with paddle shifters on DSG models) Six-way power adjustable front seats Driver assistance and handling systems
    Driver Alert System Progressive steering system The Arteon Elegance includes the following custom details:

    Exterior
    Chrome door mirror caps LED taillights with dynamic indicator light function 18-inch 'Muscat' aluminum-alloy wheels Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork Heated windshield washer jets Interior
    Contrast stitching on seat covers and floormats Aluminum-look pedal covers Alcantara/ “Vienna” leather seating surfaces Heatable front seats The Arteon R-Line includes the following custom details:

    Exterior
    High gloss black finish of the C-signature in the front air intakes Leather multifunction R-Line design sport steering wheel 18-inch 'Sebring' aluminum-alloy wheels Heated windshield washer jets Special R-Line bumpers Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork Chrome-plated exhaust tips Interior
    'Titan Black' headliner Stainless steel door kickplates front and rear (with R-Line logo on front plates} Aluminum-look pedal covers Alcantara/ “Vienna” leather ('Vienna') seating surfaces with R-Line logo Special R-Line steering wheel Heatable front seats Powertrain
    The new Arteon is launching with a range of six turbocharged direct-injection engines. All are four-cylinder units: the entry-level petrol (TSI) and diesel (TDI®) engines each develop 148 horsepower. The most powerful TSI gasoline engine delivers 276 hp, while the most powerful TDI produces 236 hp.
    All the engines, except the 148-hp TSI in Germany, can be combined with a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. For the TSI, the DSG is standard for the 188-hp engine and above. In the case of the TDI, it is fitted as standard with the 236-hp version. The most powerful TSI and TDI models also have 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard, while this is available as an option for the 188-hp TDI. All other models have front-wheel drive.
    NEDC fuel consumption for the 276-hp gasoline engine is: 25.6 mpg on the urban cycle, 38.6 mpg on the extraurban cycle, and a combined rating of 32.2 mpg.
    The Arteon's engines in summary:
    Gasoline Output Gearbox / Drive system 1.5 TSI Evo 110 kW / 148 hp 6-speed / optional 7-speed DSG (DSG not in Germany) 2.0 TSI 140 kW / 188 hp 7-speed DSG 2.0 TSI 206 kW / 276 hp 7-speed DSG plus 4Motion Diesel Output Gearbox / Drive system 2.0 TDI 110 kW / 148 hp 6-speed / optional 7-speed DSG 2.0 TDI 140 kW / 188 hp 6-speed / optional 7-speed DSG / optional 4Motion 2.0 TDI 176 kW / 236 hp 7-speed DSG plus 4Motion  

    William Maley

    What happens you mash up a production coupe with F1 tech

    Infiniti has a habit of teasing high-performance concepts and then not doing anything with them. This trend looks to continue with the Q60 Project Black S that will be debuting next week at the Geneva Motor Show. 
    The concept is the result of a collaboration between Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula 1 team. Starting with an Infiniti Q60 Red Sport as a base, engineers from the two groups paired the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with an F1-style KERS (kinetic energy recover system) motor generator. Infiniti says this setup boosts horsepower about 25 percent (around 500 horsepower).
    For the exterior, Infiniti fitted a new front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser made from carbon fiber. There is also a large rear wing and a set of twin titanium exhaust tips.
    "INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we're extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S," said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti in a statement.
    We'll have more details on this next week.
    Source: Car Magazine, Infiniti 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Introducing Project Black S – an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line
    Collaborative venture between INFINITI and the RenaultSport Formula One Team INFINITI investigating Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology Project Black S explores the potential for an innovative new performance model line HONG KONG – Featuring Formula One-inspired technology, Project Black S is an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line. Developed in collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Project Black S will be revealed for the first time globally at a special media event on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.
    A radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe, Project Black S features a stand-out, aerodynamic design, and hints at how a unique-for-the-road performance hybrid powertrain could significantly enhance the dynamics of an INFINITI production car.
    "INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we're extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S."
    - Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI
    The performance hybrid powertrain being explored through Project Black S features an 'energy recovery system' (ERS) to harvest energy, deploying recovered electric power to boost power and torque. The result is instant, significant, lag-free acceleration. Inspired by the dual-hybrid system proven in Formula One, the technology does not yet exist in a current road car.
    The reveal of Project Black S in Geneva will help to gauge potential public interest in high-performance derivatives of INFINITI cars.

    William Maley

    Same Great Taste, Less Pain on Your Wallet

    Mercedes-Benz is taking aim at the Audi S5 and BMW 435i with the introduction of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe.
     
    At first glance, you might be thinking this is a dyed in the wool AMG model. But you would be incorrect. This would have been part AMG Sport lineup which includes the C450 sedan and GLE450. But earlier this year, Mercedes announced that it would be shuttering the AMG Sport name and rename the models Mercedes-AMG C43 and GLE43.
     
    The C43 coupe shares the sedan's twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 362 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system gets the power to the road. The all-wheel drive system is biased to the rear (31:69). Mercedes quotes a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph.
     
    Mercedes has equipped the C43 with some of the goodies found in the mad C63. They include the three-stage variable dampers and the three-stage stability control system. In terms of looks, the C43 isn't quite as bonkers as the C63. But it does have a more aggressive front end and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels.
     
    Mercedes will debut the C43 next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Sales begin in the fall.
     
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    New member of the C-Class Performance family
     
    Mercedes-AMG has added another model to its C-Class family: the new C43 Coupe. For a dynamic driving experience, the Affalterbach-based development teams have put together a scintillating engineering package: the 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is combined with the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that provides rapid gearshifts. Together with the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the model-specific chassis technology, this provides the optimum basis for high agility and exhilarating lateral dynamics. Thus the new C43 Coupe also fulfills the brand promise of 'Driving Performance' in every respect.
     
    Dynamic growth characterizes the corporate philosophy of Mercedes-AMG. A key component is the continual extension of the product range to include all-new models, which was previously not part of the portfolio. "The extension of the C- Class family to include the new C43 Coupe is another component in our growth strategy. It not only enriches the wide line-up of the C-Class family, but also starts the introduction of a whole series of new '43' models this year", says Mercedes-AMG GmbH chairman Tobias Moers. "The '43' models boast the characteristic AMG genes, which are also included in our GT and '63' vehicles, and thus consistently interpret our brand essence of 'Driving Performance' in their segment." Sports car technology and motor racing flair thus become more attainable and appeal to a broader customer base.
     
    The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine provides impressive performance with 362 hp and peak torque of 384 lb-ft, sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The newly developed front axle, taut elastokinematics and the highly precise steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.
     
    The highlights
    3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine control unit for increased boost and high-revving 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function when shifting down and exhilaratingly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle) AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive variable damping in three stages; mode can be selected via button, adopted from Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually-selectable driving experience with five drive modes and AMG-specific tuning Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments to the links have been adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C63 Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2", and with a diameter of 12.6" at the rear AMG styling with distinctive front and rear apron as well as special tailpipes Diamond radiator grill with chrome-plated pins and louvers in high-gloss black 18" AMG light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish AMG instrument cluster with checkered flag design with 180 mph scale and AMG main menu Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching Upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with sport seat upholstery layout and red topstitching

    AMG-specific: the 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine
    The C43's 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine has seen several technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed AMG engineers to increase the engine's power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to AMG levels. With 362 hp and 384 lb-ft, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of the MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS team. Especially tough and wear- resistant, this coating reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert in the engine cover.
     

    Short shift times, high efficiency: 9G-TRONIC
    The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG C43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, AMG developers managed to substantially reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The ability to downshift multiple gears at once allows for even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the "Eco" and "Comfort" modes.
     
    "Manual" mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gears using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches redline.
     
    AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with automatic variable damping
    The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe offers the optimum conditions for high driving dynamics and outstanding comfort on long journeys thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension. The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity.
     
    Negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics and the elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility and boost the dynamics. In addition, the driver benefits from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration, better traction and neutral handling at the limit.
     
    The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system's three suspension modes "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus" by pressing a button on the center console to fully customize the driving impression.
     
    Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Eco," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual," the driver can tailor the characteristics of the C43 Coupe to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. These modes modify several key parameters, including the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering.
     
    The "Sport Plus" mode in particular delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics: partial cylinder suppression during full-throttle gear changes by means of a precisely defined delay in both ignition timing and fuel injection allows for faster and more audible gear changes. This is perfectly complemented by the double- declutching function when downshifting.
     
    In order to increase efficiency, the ECO start/stop function and the 'sailing' function reduce fuel consumption in "Eco" mode; when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
     
    Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sport steering
    The speed-sensitive sport steering assists the agile cornering of the new C43 Coupe with its variable ratio. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The servo assistance can be varied with the "Comfort" or "Sport" settings. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode.
     
    Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design
    The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is sporty in appearance, making it instantly recognizable as a member of the AMG family. Characteristic features include distinctive AMG styling as well as specific light-alloy wheels, underscoring the brand's progressive nature and performance. The engine cover has a red aluminum insert that accentuates the strengths of the six-cylinder Biturbo engine.
     
    Exterior AMG styling includes the front apron with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matte iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grill features chrome-plated pins, louvers in high-gloss black and AMG lettering. A silver-chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to various cooling modules.
     
    Additional highlights include black exterior mirror housings, high-gloss black waistline trim strip and window frame, as well as the two chrome-plated tailpipes with center divider. Further striking features come courtesy of the new "BITURBO – 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders and the "AMG" (left) and "C43" (right) lettering on the trunk lid.
     
    Customers can choose the optional “Night Package," which adds high-gloss black front apron trim, a high-gloss black diffuser-look insert at the rear and two black tailpipes with center divider.
     
    AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish round off the design visually. Size 225/45 R 18 tires on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tires on 8.5 x 18 wheels. 19" light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualization.
     
    Sporty interior looks with model-specific details
    The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a spirited driving style, the multifunction sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching.
     
    The driver finds a secure and comfortable seating position even at speed thanks to improved lateral support provided by sport seats. The MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with MB-Tex create a sporty ambience. The man-made leather is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door center panels and the center console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The aluminum trim pieces with light-tone longitudinal grain embedded in the instrument panel and the doors provide effective contrasts.
     
    The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 4.5-inch multifunction color display, RACETIMER and 180 mph scale in checkered-flag design.

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